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your news, your views May/June 2019 issue 70







This year marks a special anniversar y for our family winer y. Fifty years ago, we did something many people thought was craz y. We got out of the hotel business and jumped, boots and all, into making premium wines.

TO OUR CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE JOINED US ON THIS 50-YEAR JOURNEY, WE’D LIKE TO SAY A HEARTFELT THANK YOU. On July 20, 1969, we set foot on what was to become our family estate in the Clare Valley, with a vision to craft wines that rivalled the wor ld ’s best. It also happened to be a significant day in histor y. It was the day man first set foot on the moon.

I n r e c o g n i t i o n o f o u r p r o g r e s s t o w a r d s t h i s v i s i o n i n 2 0 1 7 I w a s p r o u d w h e n t h e Wo r l d A s s o c i a t i o n o f W i n e Wr i t e r s a n d J o u r n a l i s t s r a n k e d Ta y l o r s t h e # 1 w i n e r y i n t h e w o r l d from more than 50,000 producers across the top 80 international shows.

The celebrations continued in 2018 when we received the supreme award for the World’s Best Cabernet in the spiritual home of Cabernet – France – at the International Competition of Cabernet.

W h i l e our 50th is a c e le br a tion of our past , our e yes are fixed on t he fut u re. To mark t h i s

spe c i a l a n n ive rs a r y, a n d a f ter many years of planning and winemaking t r i al s, we h ave re l e a si n g a win e th a t bold l y e mbodies our f ounding pur pose. It ’s a t r ibut e t o o u r p ast and a t re a sure f or th e future. We ’ve named it ‘ T he L egac y ’ . It is ext remel y limi t e d i n q u ant i t y a n d we be lie ve is th e fin e s t wine our famil y has e ver made.

There will be plenty more to celebrate throughout the year, but to start, we’d simply like to say thank you. Yours sincerely,


Third-generation Managing Director & Winemaker Taylors Wines



Limited releases now available Contact your Brown-Forman Key account manager to access these products.



May/June 2019

22 26



41 52




10 News: What’s happening in trade

30 Cathi Scarce on liquor retail

46 New Product Releases

16 Columnists: Industry leader opinions

32 Stuart Gregor on Four Pillars Gin and Lion

54 Tasting Bench: Cabernet Sauvignon

19 Legal

38 Alexander Lambrecht on marketing beer

48 Trade Activity: Events and promotions

41 Toby Barlow on philosophy and winemaking

51 Events

52 Robert Joseph on the future of wine

57 Bin Ends: Strange Brews

FEATURES 22 Rum: One of the world’s greatest spirits

By Ken Gargett

and retailing

26 Is Brandy next? By Ken Gargett 34 Where to now for West Australian wine?

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By Ray Jordan

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Editor’s Note

PUBLISHER The Drinks Association

The Australian drinks scene is bursting with creative people with big ideas.

I am talking about unique individuals who drive change and see


things differently; who keep our industry evolving, interesting, current; who are in tune with the zeitgeist and have a innate understanding of the future needs and wants of consumers.

All enquiries to: The Drinks Association Locked Bag 4100, Chatswood NSW 2067 ABN 26 001 376 423

This edition of Drinks Trade features interviews with four of them.

First is with retailer, Cathi Scarce, whose knowledge of liquor retail from the ground up sees her heading up the liquor division one of Australia’s

The views expressed in Drinks Trade are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily those of the magazine or The Drinks Association. Copyright is held by The Drinks Association and reproduction in whole or in part, without prior consent, is not permitted.

Other Drinks Association publications include: Drinks Trade Online drinkstrade.com.au Drinks Guide drinksguide.com.au Drinks Yearbook


biggest retail giants (page 32).

Another is Stuart Gregor, a PR man but also a creator. His role in building a great Australian global brand of gin has been instrumental to its success. He discusses the biggest Australian spirits deal since Diageo took over Bundaberg Rum (page 35).

Then there is Alexander Lambrecht, a beer marketer from Belgium with a wealth of global market experience and a palpable passion for his place in the world doing what he does (page 42).

Finally we speak with winemaker, Toby Barlow, whose approach to making wine is influenced by his love for philosophy and his fearless take on

PUBLISHING EDITOR Ashley Pini .......................... ashley@hipmedia.com.au

trying new methods, as crazy as they may seem (page 46).

EDITOR Melissa Parker......................................... melissa@hipmedia.com.au DIGITAL EDITOR Alana House............................... alanah@drinks.asn.au

I have deliberately omitted company and brand names here because I wanted to highlight the importance of the person.

DRINKS CURATOR Ben Davidson........................... ben@hipmedia.com.au STAFF WRITER Yahn Monaghan............................ yahn@hipmedia.com.au

It is the passion, skill, knowledge, devotion and chutzpah these individuals possess that is behind their success and subsequently the success of


the brands they are associated with.

CONTRIBUTORS Brett Heffernan, Sam Reid, Simon Strahan, Simone Allan, Andreas Clark, Stuart Gregor, Alexis Roitman, Julie Ryan, Walter MacCallum, Tony Battaglene, Christine

I hope their stories inspire you as they did me.

Ricketts, Travis Fuller, Scott McWilliam, Nick Barlow, Ken Gargett and Ray Jordan.

DESIGN SENIOR DESIGNER Racs Salcedo ......................... ryan@hipmedia.com.au


This issue also says welcome to winter with its warming drinks and après ski opportunities that go with the new season. Turn to page 48 to read about the latest drinks to hit the slopes and ski fields over the next few months.

For our spirits focus, regular contributor, Ken Gargett, gives us the latest on rum (page 25) and cognac (page 29) while our wine reporter in the west, Ray Jordan, reports on what’s up with the Western Australian wine scene (page 38).

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of Drinks Trade.

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Tim Ludlow ............... tim@hipmedia.com.au

Produced and contract published by:

ACCOUNTS: accounts@hipmedia.com.au Suite 3, ‘Altura’, 11 Railway Street Chatswood, NSW 2060 Ph: 02 9492 7999 www.hipmedia.com.au | facebook.com/drinksmedia ABN: 42 126 291 914 8|drinks trade

Melissa Parker Editor



REGATTA HOTEL, “By using Finest Call,QLD we increased our rate of sale, “By using Finest Call, weprep increased our lowered rate of sale, minimized staff costs on time and our fresh minimized staffIncosts time and loweredinour fresh produce cost. total,on weprep saved over $60,000 a year.” produce cost. In total, we saved over $60,000 in a year.”


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Peak freshness of fruit VS


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$25-$30: approx 15-18 cocktails VS



Juicing a lime by hand VS


Using our purpose-designed nip pourer


Peak1freshness of - 7 DAYS VS Peak freshness of

18 MONTHS VS Finest Call shelf 18 MONTHS Finest Call shelf


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Kollaras & Co Pty Ltd has announced a new distribution deal with the on-trend craft beer brands from Brewmanity Brewing Co. The deal will see Kollaras & Co assist Brewmanity with all national on and off premise retail as well as their duty-free channel. Brewmanity began when a group of beer loving mates whose dream to start a brewery became a reality when they banded together to help their mate who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. They combined their love of beer with a philanthropic attitude and started a quest to help find a cure. The company’s uniquely flavoured craft beers such as Social Beast and Tango & Splash, have been gaining popularity across the country as has its philanthropic mission which has so far raised over $250,000 from beer sales donated to the Fight MND Foundation. “We are proud to join forces with Brewmanity, an innovative company redefining the liquor industry. We are excited by the growth potential and look forward to helping raise funds for such a worthy cause as Fight MND,” said Kollaras & Co Managing Director, John Kollaras. “As an independent brewery, Brewmanity is excited to work with a third-generation family business in Kollaras. Their family values and strong relationships with independent retailers around the country over many years are impressive, and they have openly embraced our ‘Good Beer Good Deeds’ philosophy. We’re now looking forward to working with the Kollaras team and their retail partners to pour out goodness across the country,’ said Brewmanity Director and AFL legend, David Neitz. 10|drinks trade

Coopers Brewery’s new malting plant at Regency Park in Adelaide, South Australia, has been jointly presented, along with The Swaen in The Netherlands, with the Malster of the Year 2019 Award at the Global Brewing Supply Awards as part of the World Barley, Malt and Beer Conference held at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland. The awards take place every two years and are judged by a jury drawn from members of the global brewing industry. Other plants shortlisted included breweries from Vietnam, Germany and India. Coopers’ Maltings Manager, Dr Doug Stewart, said it was a remarkable result, given that the plant has only been in operation for just over a year. “The plant was officially opened in November 2017 and produced its first batch of malt the same month,” he said. “It is now operating at nearly 90 per cent capacity and well ahead of budget.”


Yarra Valley winemakers are joining over half a million Australians who use smart phone technology app Snap Send Solve in order to protect commercial vineyards from the threat of phylloxera. The free Australian app Snap Send Solve is the tool of choice for winegrowers and property managers to monitor commercial vineyards and report suspect infestations of phylloxera - an insect that feeds primarily on the roots and sometimes the leaves of grapevines - to Agriculture Victoria for testing and on-farm management. The move follows the successful implementation of Snap Send Solve in the Mornington Peninsula, where it is being used as a tool for community members to report Amenity grapevines (vines used for decorative purposes) to ensure they are part of the “Phylloxera Stop the Spread!” testing program. “Growers can use the Snap Send Solve application to self-report suspect vines. Agriculture Victoria will then undertake an inspection of the vine to confirm whether it is affected. Agriculture Victoria will use the information gained from the Snap Send Solve reports to help them better manage phylloxera infestations on-farm,” Victoria’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Dr Rosa Crnov said. The app uses GPS to discover the precise location of a reported vine, and is geo-fenced, so that users can only report grapevines in the area Agriculture Victoria is surveying.


COLD LOGIC KEEPING PIRATE LIFE CHILLED Forget the ice and esky, an Adelaide-based refrigeration firm is keeping Pirate Life Brewing’s beer cold. Cold Logic will chill 11 million litres of beer annually for Pirate Life Brewing, winning a $900,000 contract to design, supply and install a refrigeration plant at the local craft brewer’s new Port Adelaide location. The project is the latest in a series of beer industry contracts won by Cold Logic, including Coopers Brewery in Regency Park, and New South Wales-based 4 Pines Brewing Company (Manly) and contract brewing company Brewpack (Goulburn).

For many years the Banrock Station brand has stood for protecting the environment through the Banrock Station wetlands initiative. There are 3 million bottles of Banrock Station and 1.5 million 2L casks sold each year in Australia. Since 1995, the Banrock Station Environmental Trust has re-invested proceeds from these sales into environmental preservation projects. To re-engage consumers with the brand’s original heritage and purpose, it has undergone a refresh that gives the brand a modern look but also visually conveys this strong commitment to the environment. Each varietal tells a story of a different endangered or rare species that is protected through work on the Banrock Station wetlands. Commitment to social and environmental responsibility can be a key driver for influencing shopper behaviour. In a 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 45 per cent of consumers surveyed said it has the power to sway their product purchases.


SouthTrade International has announced that Paul Slater will be joining the business in the newly created role, Brand Ambassador for Local Craft Spirits in Victoria and Tasmania. As the Australian craft spirits category continues to grow Slater’s role will drive education, brand awareness and trade engagement for SouthTrade International’s local craft spirits including Starward, 666 Vodka, Adelaide Hills and Mr Black. “The local spirits market has tripled in recent years and this rapid growth is forecast to increase tenfold as more consumers embrace Australian-made brands (IRI Market Data December 2018). It is a crucial time for SouthTrade International to invest further in local craft and spirits education and strengthen our team with impressive industry talent like Paul. We are privileged to have such incredible craft spirits from some of the most innovative local distilleries that are pushing category boundaries. We are starting with two Brand Ambassador roles initially (Sydney and Melbourne) though I envisage we will roll-out more across all markets in time,” said Ray Noble, Managing Director, SouthTrade International. “I am thrilled to join SouthTrade International and begin the next chapter of my career with a company that’s already dear to my heart. The Australian category is experiencing a huge craft spirits boom that is driving exciting new innovation and experiences for bartenders and consumers. It’s an incredible time to be at the forefront of this movement and I’m so excited about working with the trade to bring these great brands and drinks to life,”said Slater.

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CARLTON DRAUGHT LAUNCHES HERITAGE MERCHANDISE Carlton Draught fans will be easier to spot from now on as the iconic Australian beer launches a new dedicated heritage merchandise store online for its loyal followers. Pints down at the local pub or at the footy have become synonymous with the iconic drop. Since 1864, Carlton Draught has been serving up brewery fresh beer to generations of beer lovers and now punters can wear the logo with pride as the brand releases a new range of heritage jumpers, T-shirts and duffel bags online. Carlton Draught’s most historic logos and campaigns feature in the new store, with nostalgic designs created to hit the right note with the most loyal of fans. Visit - www.carltondraught.com.au/collections/all


Bacardi Limited has announced the appointment of Mauricio Vergara to the role of Managing Director Bacardi-Martini Australia. This expansion of leadership is in response to growth for Bacardi Limited in the Asia-Pacific region and marks the continued development of global talent across the business. “I’m thrilled to welcome Mauricio Vergara to the North Asia Pacific (NAPAC) Region Bacardi Leadership Team,” said Regional Vice President, Denis Brown, who continues to have regional responsibility for Australia. Vergara is familiar with the beverage industry and the portfolio, having worked with Bacardi Limited since 2013 in various marketing and commercial leadership roles. He arrives in Australia from the North American division, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer. “I’ve spent more than 25 years in brand marketing, 15 of which have been in the beverage industry,” says Vergara. “As someone who’s been responsible for commercial strategy, customer marketing, and sales of the Bacardi portfolio across North America, I have a passion for the front end of our business.” Before Bacardi, Vergara has worked for Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, SAB Miller and BrownForman. He holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico. Vergara will move to Sydney and begin his new role in July.

AUSTRALIAN WINE AND AFL A WINNING COMBINATION FOR CHINA Australian Grape & Wine Inc. Chef Executive, Tony Battaglene, has welcomed the announcement by the Australian Government to build a ‘Festival of Australia’ around the third Australian Football League (AFL) premiership game in Shanghai, between Port Adelaide and St Kilda, on 2 June 2019. The announcement by Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham will enable Australian businesses to showcase their produce first-hand to the growing China market under a new joint initiative between Austrade, the AFL and the Port Adelaide Football Club, to be launched ahead of the upcoming AFL premiership game in Shanghai. In 2018, Australian wine producers exported $2.82 billion worth of product to the world. 40 per cent ($1.14 billion) was sold to China alone - an increase of 18 per cent from the previous year – demonstrating Chinese consumers’ increasing love of Australian wine. ‘This is a strategic opportunity to strengthen Australia’s trade relationship with China by supporting and elevating the sporting, cultural, trade and investment activities that are already coalescing around the AFL game in Shanghai. Australian Grape & Wine will be ensuring there is every opportunity for grape and wine producers to participate in the Festival, this year and beyond’ said Battaglene.

LION TO INVEST IN VANGUARD LUXURY BRANDS Vanguard Luxury Brands and Lion have announced they will come together, with Lion acquiring a minority stake in the premium spirits distributor. The announcement follows Lion’s recent partnership with Four Pillars Gin. Vanguard Founder and Managing Director James France said the deal with Lion is a logical next step. “This investment means we will go even further in providing the best brands for the best bars and retailers, and for that reason we are truly at the forefront of Australia’s flourishing craft and premium spirits industry.” “I look forward to continuing to lead the Vanguard business as Managing Director. The culture and focus on premium brands that Vanguard is known for will be maintained, and we are enormously proud of this.” Vanguard has been Four Pillars’ distributor since the brand’s launch in 2013 and has recently signed a new long-term distribution agreement with the Healesville-based distiller, so the same craft spirits experts will continue to sell Four Pillars to bars, retailers, restaurants and pubs across Australia. Lion Managing Director, James Brindley, said the simultaneous deals between Lion, Four Pillars and Vanguard are a fortunate outcome for Lion as it enters the growing crafted, premium spirits category. “This partnership is a combination of two strong businesses with complementary strengths and we are excited to see the growth that will come,” said James Brindley.

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RECORD ENTRIES FOR 2019 AUSTRALIA’S WINE LIST OF THE YEAR Entries for the 2019 Australia’s Wine list of the Year Awards have now closed with a record number of 424 entries from Australia’s finest restaurants, hotels, clubs, wine bars, pubs, cafes and brasseries across the country – including 20 per cent new entrants to the awards. The judges are now hard at work seeking Australia’s best wine lists and the weeks ahead will determine who will be celebrated as Australia’s best in 2019. The 30-strong judging panel includes highly respected local and international Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, wine communicators and previous award winners. Lists are ranked with one to three glasses. The best of the best are then in contention for the top awards. In addition to best list in the country and best in each state, entrants can also submit their lists in a diverse range of categories including venue type as well as best listings of wines by the glass, food and wine, showcases of regional wines or other speciality beverages. Since the awards were first established in 1993 by Rob Hirst and Tucker Seabrook, the quality of Australian wine lists has grown in line with the exceptional cuisine now offered across restaurants, wine bars, hotels, clubs and pubs. The first winner in 1994 was Peter and Beverley Doyle’s Sydney restaurant Cicada. The most recent winner of the leading wine list

in Australia was Aria Brisbane, created by Ian Trinkle. The Drinks Association is the official Trade Communications Partner of Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards. “Our mission is to inform, strengthen and connect the Australian drinks industry and this event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of sommeliers and venues throughout Australia,” said Georgia Lennon, CEO, The Drinks Association. ”We look forward to toasting the winners and sharing their stories in Drinks Trade magazine and via our digital media platforms.” The winners of Australia’s Wine List of the Year 2019 will be revealed at an awards presentation on July 22.



We are proud to announce that Drinks Trade and Drinks Bulletin have joined forces at the new-look www.drinkstrade.com.au, creating the most searchable and informative drinks source in the country. In addition to daily news the website offers access to the digital edition of Drinks Trade magazine and the Drinks Guide website, the industry’s largest database of drinks products. Check it out now! 14|drinks trade

Sullivans Cove Distillery is celebrating yet another major global award. It has once again claimed the title of “World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt” for the second year running at the World Whiskies Awards. This year, a 10-year-old cask of their French Oak expression, TD0217, has claimed the prestigious award, announced at the World Whiskies Awards 2019 dinner in London. This accolade follows Sullivans Cove’s win for the same award last year for a 16-year-old cask of their American Oak expression, and their award for World’s Best Single Malt in 2014, making Sullivans Cove the only distillery in the world to ever win World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt twice, and bringing their total of World’s Best awards to three overall. Hosted by Whisky Magazine, the World Whiskies Awards are an annual competition that sees thousands of entries from around the world judged blind by a large panel of journalists, distillers and other experts from the whisky industry, and have become the most prestigious and well-respected whisky awards in the world.

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Simon Strahan is the Chief Executive Officer of DrinkWise.

Stuart Gregor is the President of the Australian Distillers Association (ADA) and co-founder of Four Pillars Gin.

Australians love to socialise, and attending events takes up much of our recreation time. Through the ‘You won’t miss a moment if you DrinkWise’ initiative, DrinkWise continues to establish new partnerships and enhance existing relationships with industry, sporting codes and music festivals, to remind consumers about the importance of moderation at events. 2019 is the third consecutive year of our partnership with the AFL. This partnership, which includes ownership of the DrinkWise Score Review, allows us to promote responsible attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol consumption via messaging at grounds and during telecasts. The DrinkWise Score Review will be supported by on-ground signage, messaging in the Footy Record and placement of our ‘Unmissable Moments’ ad series with AFL greats Eddie Betts, Damien Hardwick and Nick Riewoldt. The partnership goes beyond messaging, with both the AFL and DrinkWise working on strategies to improve crowd behaviour at games, to ensure an enjoyable and family-friendly experience for all spectators. Our partnership with the AFL will also enable DrinkWise to promote our moderation messaging at the Red Centre AFL game in Alice Springs - an annual AFL tradition which showcases indigenous talent while raising awareness and understanding of cultural and social issues in the Northern Territory.

This month’s column will be a little selfindulgent, but this month is Negroni Month and it’s my favourite drink. Period. 2019 marks the centenary of the moment Count Camillo Negroni walked into the Caffe Casoni near the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and asked for his regular Americano (sweet Vermouth and Campari with soda on top) to be souped up a little by replacing the soda with something a little more fortissimo, like gin. Thus was born the Negroni. Soon everyone wanted what Negroni was drinking. Today the Negroni stands tall as a global classic and a drink that in many ways is a beachhead for the craft cocktail revolution. In just five or 10 short years it has become something of a signal from drinkers to other drinkers, and from bars to their consumers, that they take their drinks seriously. I mean if you can’t make a decent Negroni then you really have no hope as a bartender or a venue. The classic is still the best. One part of your favourite gin, one part Campari and one part your favourite sweet vermouth. Stir with ice, add an orange slice and BOOM – you have a drink so delicious it should almost be a crime . . . in fact it WAS a crime to drink one after midnight in Sydney until just a couple of months ago, but that’s a story for another time . . . So go get yourself a Negroni from one of your favourite bars this month. Ask for your favourite Aussie gin to give it a local twist and toast the great Count Negroni for his moment of genius in 1919.

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ASSISTING LIQUOR RETAIL NAVIGATE THE GROWTH IN CRAFT BEER Julie Ryan is Chief Executive Officer of Retail Drinks Australia. With an estimated total value of $675 million, the craft beer sector has increased its share of total beer by more than five times since 2010 (Source: IRi MarketEdge, AU Liquor Weighted, MAT to 03/03/19). As at June 2018 the craft sector consists of a huge 547 independent breweries and with significant growth recorded over the last three years (Source: IBA 2018 Annual Report) and continued growth likely, it is a category gathering the attention of all of industry. Whilst it is clear that consumers are expressing a strong demand for highquality craft beers, the increasing popularity of the craft sector, and the ever-increasing number of brands, also highlights the importance for retail in having a well-developed strategy in place to respond to consumers’ evolving preferences. Whilst demand and interest in craft is booming, the knowledge of consumers has not yet caught up. Liquor retail looking to optimise sales in craft need to make the category approachable, exploratory and fun – not confusing or intimidating. A liquor retailer succeeding in capturing their share of growth in this category will need to connect meaningful data on trending, with expert advice on how to develop an overall beer strategy to inform product selection, placement and promotion. This is exactly what Retail Drinks will deliver in its ‘Category Immersion’ sessions at its Retail Drinks National Expo & Awards in October this year. Members will be given the opportunity to attend masterclasses that connect data driven insights with industry expertise from category leaders, to educate on formation and execution of a successful craft and mainstream beer strategy.

CALL OUT AUSTRALIAN CRAFT CIDER ON RETAIL SHELVES Sam Reid is the President of Cider Australia and co-owner of Wille Smith’s. At Willie Smith’s, we’ve had an off year with our cider apples which means we are getting less cider apples per tree than we did last year, known in the fruit industry as bi-annual bearing. This certainly isn’t a problem for us as we have been planting and grafting more and more orchards each year so we’re left with the same amount of cider fruit as last year’s harvest. It’s definitely something we’re going to have to put some thinking into as we progress down the path of our goal of introducing Cider Apples to the mainstream drinkers around Australia. Also worth noting is recent data that showed the volume of the cider category in the off-premise, declined approximately 5 per cent in 2018 which is not a great a result (Aztec Data Nov 18). On the flipside the category value declined less than 0.5 per cent as most of this decline came from the big three brands in the market place. This tells me that we are finally beginning to see the impact of the more premium and higher value Australian craft ciders begin to influence the market place. Now more than ever it’s important for retailers to segment their cider categories, calling out Australian craft cider with its own section on shelf. This will obviously help drinkers trade up to Australian craft cider and importantly maintain, and hopefully grow category value. For anyone who would like to know more about this initiative please contact Cider Australia directly for our Category Strategy. Lastly, tickets are now on sale to the Aus Cider 2019, in Hobart this year from the 2nd – 5th of June. Check out the Cider Australia website for details: www.cideraustralia.org.au

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Brett Heffernan is the CEO of the Brewers Association of Australia.

Tony Battaglene is the Chief Executive of Australian Grape & Wine.

Can you believe that Australia’s federal and state governments are actively seeking to prevent consumers making informed choices? The consumer’s right to know is supposed to be paramount, right? Well, apparently not. In a bizarre twist on consumer rights, Food Safety Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) is investigating whether the factual, scientifically proven information about sugar and carbohydrate content in all alcohol products should be banned from labels and marketing materials. We know there is growing interest among consumers wanting to understand what is in alcohol products – specifically sugar, carbohydrates and calories. The IRI Liquor Trends Series – “Trending ‘better for you’ attributes in liquor products”, in September 2018 stated “60 per cent of respondents say nutritional panel information displayed on products affects purchases. The information most wanted on alcohol labels 1. Sugar (77 per cent), 2. Carbohydrate (52 per cent) 3. Calorie (47 per cent).” It’s not rocket science. Consumers want to make informed personal decisions about the sugar and carbohydrate content of the products they consume. Denying them that information and the ability to make informed choices is counter-intuitive to everything we reasonably expect about consumer rights. If this silly and pedantic over-regulation gets approval, it will come with cascading costs. We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs for a change that denies the public information they are actively seeking. It makes absolutely no sense. The full Brewers Association of Australia submission to the FSANZ review is available at: https://www.brewers.org.au/

Australian Grape and Wine Inc. (Australian Grape & Wine) remains focused on the review of South Australia’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS). Managed by South Australia’s EPA, the review raises the possibility of expanding the scope of the CDS to include wine bottles. So why is this an issue for wine producers, when recycling is a positive environmental process? It’s simple - wine containers make up approximately 0.04% of Australia’s litter stream, because it is mostly consumed on premise or at home, and the containers are captured in the curb-side recycled waste collections. Including wine containers in the CDS would present a significant cost to wine businesses, but provide little-to-no benefit to the environment, recycling rates or the public litter stream. But it will present real costs to all wine businesses, particularly to those small, family owned businesses, of which is the majority of Australian wine businesses. They will have to not only pay the monthly bill, but also develop systems to deal with the red-tape of registering each SKU, reporting against their new obligations and wading through the rest of the administrative paperwork that will inevitably flow from such a change. For those outside of SA, what should concern you is that including wine bottles in South Australia’s CDS could set a precedent for other state and territory governments to follow - amplifying the costs to Australian wine businesses. Australian Grape & Wine made a formal submission to the review in February and is holding meetings with a number of South Australian politicians to make sure the views of wine businesses are heard loud and clear.


WHAT’S THE POSITION? Employer clients of mine have often asked me the question. Do we have to pay superannuation on annual leave loading? The answer is not always straightforward and there has been confusion as to whether or not it does or does not have to be paid. However, an announcement from the ATO clarifies things. By Walter MacCallum, a Principal at Russell Kennedy Aitken Lawyers. Russell Kennedy Aitken Lawyers is the newly merged firm of Aitken Lawyers in Sydney and Russell Kennedy Lawyers in Melbourne.


nder nearly every modern award, annual leave loading is an entitlement usually applied by way of an additional payment of 17.5 per cent on top of an employee’s base rate of pay, the period that employee is on annual leave. Historically, annual leave loading was incorporated into awards to compensate employees in circumstances where those particular employees would have ordinarily received overtime or penalty rates of pay during the period that the employee took his or her annual leave. However, as the modern awards were developed, the entitlement to annual leave loading has broadened and now most modern awards apply the leave loading payment to classifications of employees across the board and in particular, many employees who would not normally perform work that would work overtime, or on Saturdays and Sundays when penalties rates apply. Recently the ATO has clarified the position, stating that in their view, annual leave loading will be ordinary time earnings unless it is referable to

a lost opportunity to work overtime. The effect of this is that superannuation is payable on leave loading unless the employer can demonstrate that the leave loading is referable to a lost opportunity to work overtime or work at penalty rates. The ATO has acknowledged that historically there has been a confusion and employers will not be the subject of scrutiny as to whether or not superannuation has been paid or not paid on annual leave loading payments where the employer has self-assessed that annual leave loading payments were not ordinary time earnings because it was in relation to employee’s loss of opportunity to work overtime and/or penalty rates and there was no evidence to suggest the entitlements were something other than overtime. However, for future quarters employers must be able to prove that the leave loading payment is referable to a lost opportunity to work overtime or at penalty rates in order to avoid having to pay the superannuation guarantee charge on the leave loading payment. The risk for employers in not being able to prove this, if and when the ATO comes knocking, is that the employer may be liable for not only unpaid guarantee charges but interest, fees

and penalties or worse still, be the subject of a director’s penalty notice creating a personal liability on directors of employer companies.

SO WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO? Until the modern awards are clarified with express wording dealing with the reason for the annual leave loading namely, clearly stating that it is in compensation for the lost opportunity to work overtime or at penalty rates, the only viable alternative is to have a written policy or a written term of an employment contract. That policy or term of the contract would need to recognise the mutual agreement between employer and employee that the basis or reason for the entitlement the annual leave loading is by way of compensation for the loss of opportunity to work overtime or at penalty rates. So employers firstly need to check the modern award relevant to their employees as to whether or not there is any express provision dealing with annual leave loading and if not, consider documenting the position in a policy and/or future employment agreements. Otherwise, employers will be required to pay an additional 9.5 per cent (currently the amount of the superannuation guarantee charge) on top of the 17.5 per cent annual leave loading payment.

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WINE AND TOURISM INEXTRICABLY LINKED Andreas Clark is Chief Executive of Wine Australia. Australia produces great wine that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. We export more than 60 per cent of the wine we produce and – with the support of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package – we’re accelerating this international demand for Australian wine in key markets. A valuable (if not ‘untapped’) opportunity for our wine sector in this space is the inextricable link between wine and tourism. We know that food and wine are big drivers for tourist activity and, with the right approach, tourism can be a great contributor to a winery’s bottom line. In 2018, Wine Australia partnered with Tourism Australia on a $36 million Crocodile Dundee-themed marketing campaign aimed at supercharging the value of American tourism in Australia. The campaign was officially kick-started with a new broadcast ad, unveiled to a TV audience of more than 100 million Americans at the ‘Super Bowl’. Since then we’ve empowered communities with grants for wine tourism marketing campaigns, events, infrastructure and innovative products or services. These projects are currently being delivered across the country and will be completed by June 2020. We’re also delivering a comprehensive regional program of ‘Growing Wine Exports’ and ‘Growing Wine Tourism’ workshops for new and experienced wine businesses. And in a first for Australia, Wine Australia has partnered with the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) to present a three-day National Wine Tourism Conference ‘Beyond the Barrel’ (18–20 June), packed full of educational workshops, commercial business meetings, engaging conference sessions and networking events – all designed to propel wine businesses into the world of tourism. Visit erwsp.wineaustralia.com or contact growingwine@wineaustralia.com. 20|drinks trade



Alexis Roitman is the Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Brewers Association.

Simone Allan is founder and director of Mondo recruitment agency.

Since we launched the Seal of Independence in May last year, the majority of IBA members have begun applying the Seal to their beers. As it appears on more and more cans, bottles and tap badges around Australia the ‘Certified Independent’ mark is fast becoming a recognisable mark of authenticity. The IBA launched the Seal as a response to the rising consumer demand for independent, locally-produced products and for transparency in ownership. The Seal is a powerful tool that helps beer drinkers navigate the category and indicates to consumers that the beer in their hand is produced by one of the growing number of Australian independent brewers. Beer drinkers are not only placing increasing value on their beer choices, but they are also seeking to support the pubs, bars, clubs and bottle shops who are strong supporters of independent beer. Based on the IBA members’ response to the Seal – and on numerous requests from our valued colleagues in trade – we are now looking to expand its reach by introducing the Supporter Seal. The Supporter Seal will be available for trade members that support independent brewers, allowing drinkers to recognise which pubs, bars, clubs and bottle shops support independent beer. Watch this space. Our members look forward to working with the trade on the roll out of the Supporter Seal, and to assist consumers in making informed choices about both the products that they consume and the venues that they patronise.

Did you know that 23 per cent of new hires leave within their first year and the cost of a bad hire is between one and three times the salary of the person you hire? It is important to get it right. Some innovative hiring techniques include being lateral in questioning the motives of your applicants. Online retailer Zappos tempts its new recruits with $4000 if they quit on the spot. If they are prepared to take the money and run, they were never serious about working there. This saved Zappos a lot of money down the track. Take time to identify your good hires and work to keep them. Use varied assessments. Get them to meet the larger team, ensure you have spoken to previous managers. Don’t just read written references - have you ever read a negative written reference check? Think of creative challenges - arrange to meet them in different locations - one in a formal interview environment, maybe one at a coffee shop and one in a licenced location - see how they are in different situations. Technology can now be used to assist the interview process such as gaming. Hiring strategist Paul Jacobs says giving people a taste of what a job is like through a role playing game may assist the hiring process. A successful game can attract suitable candidates. Take special note of their style and gravitas for example their handshake/eye contact/ dress/phone manner. Were they on time? Do they follow up with an email of thanks? Be a warrior when it comes to finding your talent - think of many techniques to secure the best talent and don’t just rely on the interview process, an interview alone is not smart.


Distributed Nationally by Red + White: 1300 780 074

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ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST SPIRITS The sad news is that, as much as local rum aficionados may lament it, you are as likely to get hold of a bottle of the Archie Rose Virgin Cane Rhum ($200) as the country is to be happy and united after the next elections. Archie Rose is, of course, known and loved for their gins and they have now ventured into rum territory. There are only 182 bottles of this first release, but the exciting news for rum lovers is that a producer that has had massive success with their gins should be dipping a toe into rum, so to speak. It shows that, excruciatingly slowly, rum is being seen as more than mere alcohol to be mixed with cola, for effect rather than taste. Rum should be seen for what it is, one of the world’s great spirits. Ken Gargett reports.


he Australian rum scene has long been massively dominated by one producer, Bundaberg. While their production overwhelming goes to mixing, they are, more and more, offering special selections, one-offs, limited editions and more (be very careful dismissing Bundaberg – it has fans who are truly devoted to this spirit, will not hear a word against it and will even travel great distances and line up overnight for some of these releases). If I may spend a moment on the soapbox, those dismissing rum as a simple and often harsh way to get alcohol into the system, are missing

out in a huge way. Great rum sits more than comfortably alongside the best spirits on the planet, and usually at a fraction of the cost. Producers do have to accept some of the blame. Too many are keen to push their products as ideal for cola, or the next mojito (who can blame them when their job is to make sales). Ageing a spirit increases costs dramatically. Fine for whisky devotees but Catch 22 for rumlovers. Producers are often not sure they will get the justifiable prices and so make little of these spirits. Consumers don’t get to see them and so are not as familiar as they are with Cognacs and

whiskies et al. And so they are not prepared to jump in and spend the money. We have seen how Japanese whisky has almost completely disappeared from the shelves recently, as the world woke up to the quality and the value (those were the days). To me, it seems that spirit lovers are on the cusp of a similar revolution with great rum. As soon as the word gets out as to the brilliant value some of these very old rums are, and what great drinking even younger ones can be, one can expect them to disappear like torches in a blackout. Good rum is as much a sipping spirit as any.

One sub-sector of the rum market in which we have seen a growing interest, although bizarrely it seems that this might also be waning, is spiced rums. Personally, and I suspect the same applies for many serious rum aficionados, I originally thought them as welcome as blisters. However, there are spiced rums and spiced rums. The good ones are not only worth a look, but can be enjoyable drinking and certainly have a place. More importantly, they can be a bridge to quality rum for a discerning and interested consumer, especially if the distributors and retailers are prepared to assist and educate.

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Independents First National Sales & Marketing Manager: David Hounsome 0424 155 024

SPIRITS & LIQUEURS “As soon as the word gets out as to the brilliant value some of these very old rums are, and what great drinking even younger ones can be, one can expect them to disappear like torches in a blackout. Good rum is as much a sipping spirit as any.“ Bacardi offered one called ‘Oakheart’, which did not appeal at all. Then they brought out their ‘Carta Fuego’, which was an absolute cracker. The New Zealand producers, Stolen, have a spiced rum, called ‘Smoked Rum’. If you are a fan of Islay malts but not sure of rum, try this. Delicious. Ratu from Fiji have a range including a Spiced Rum, but I find that there are characters reminiscent of that throughout all their rums – a lovely sweet coconut note. Not for all, but if that character appeals, you’ll love this. And it is brilliant for cocktails. Bundaberg recently released their ‘Small Batch Spiced Rum’ ($70). “13 different spices, fruit nectars and citrus zest”. For Bundy to release a spiced rum in their Small Batch series (this is the fourth rum in the series), shows how far the category has come and how serious it is.

Flor de Cana, a major producer from Nicaragua with some stunning aged rums in their portfolio, have a new rum, ‘Spresso’ ($55). Rather than a spiced rum, it is fairer to call this a rum/coffee liqueur, but whatever label, it is utterly delicious and dangerously more-ish. A new spiced rum is ‘Black Bart’ from Barbados ($65), although it is bottled here in Australia. It has been steeped in 25 different herbs and spices, with noticeable vanilla. For me, there are pleasing hints of ginger and coffee as well. Meanwhile, those brilliant aged rums await. Look to producers like Foursquare, Diplomatico, Zacapa, Appleton, Mt Gay, Angostura, El Dorado, Flor de Cana, Santiago, Havana Club and others. Try them and compare the quality with your favourite malts and Cognacs. Then compare the prices. And welcome to the wonderful world of great rum.

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IS BRANDY NEXT? Brandy and Cognac are little different from any premium spirit, although their journey has been more of an evolution than revolution. Time was when this category was about good Cognac one could purchase without a new mortgage, ultra-premium Cognac packaged in crystal decanters and other innovations ensuring sky-high prices and finally, local brandies, most of which had more in common with hospital disinfectants than quality spirits. Possibly a little harsh, but there was little evidence of the exciting products available today. Ken Gargett investigates.


ustralian advances in spirits like gin and whisky have made waves around the world. Brandy is in a much more nascent stage, but companies like Angove’s with St Agnes and Yalumba are offering brandies that will surely start to attract similar attention. These players have the definite advantage of time in the game – irrelevant for gin, but essential for whisky, rum and brandy. So, it is especially thrilling when a Tasmanian producer like Sullivans Cove releases its first brandies. Sullivans Cove has released some extraordinary whiskies and has now brought out two brandies, the Single Cask and the Double Cask (as one would guess, one from a single cask – $275 – and one from two casks – $190). What is fascinating is that they decided

to go in the opposite direction from what the French have been doing for centuries – blending a wide array of components from subregions and vintages. Obviously, very limited in quantity, this is a project which started around a decade ago when they distilled some 40 casks of Huon Valley wine (grapes such chardonnay and pinot noir, as well as sauvignon blanc and gewürztraminer) in French oak casks. Now, we have the fruits of their labour (or at least, the results provided by Father Time). These are great Aussie spirits. St Agnes is now reaping due reward for its decades-long persistence with brandies. They are now in a position to offer XO brandies that are 15-Years-Old ($111), 20 ($200) and an astonishing 40-Years-Old ($750), regular stars on the show circuit. Richard Angove

is fully aware of the work that has gone in, over the years. “We are extremely lucky to have such amazing aged XO resources to put these blends together. We have a clear purpose… to show the world another face of Australian produce excellence by crafting iconic Australian spirit of worldclass standard”. The distillery was established in 1910 and they have been producing brandies, in the lighter style, since 1925. Cognac has an even longer history. These days, it is larger seen as the preserve of gentlemen’s clubs, leather chairs and cigar lounges, or Asian casinos – both unfair, of course, though Cognac’s popularity in Asia gives the sector a serious boost and the Houses often target these communities in countries around the world. Australia has seen the category

increase 13 per cent over the 20102015 period. While one can access smaller producers, Cognac tends very much to be an entrenched category. The great distilleries have led the sector for good reason. They have unparalleled resources, both in their own vineyards and those growers with whom they deal. They have mindboggling material in their cellars, barrels of Cognac happily maturing away, often for many decades and sometimes even longer. Names like Hine, Hennessey, Martell, Rémy Martin and Courvoisier have achieved legendary status for good reason. These Houses look to the great vineyards, Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne as they are known. The real skill, developed over generations, is the ability

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In a world that moves too fast and demands too much too soon, we celebrate the patient rewards of time, age, ambition and craft with the release of three inimitable expressions of St Agnes XO. Our ambition at the St Agnes Distillery is clear. To do one thing brilliantly. To show the world another face of Australian produce excellence. To create a spirit of iconic world standard. To craft a uniquely Australian expression of brandy. 90 Years 5 Generations 5 Master Distillers 3 World Bests Just one St. Agnes Handcrafted Since 1925.


Distribution enquiries:

Ph: 1300 769 266 www.vhws.com.au

REVIEWS: HINE ANTIQUE XO COGNAC A really serious and superb Cognac. Baked apples, mild chocolate, nuts, raisins and figs. The oak gives up an unobtrusive vanillin, cedary character. Delightful creamy texture.

‘H BY HINE’ COGNAC A younger Cognac but an ideal one for anyone keen to dip a toe into this sector. Pleasing fruit notes. Excellent for cocktails and a lighter, fresher drink over ice, if the mood requires.

HENNESSY VS A slightly lighter, fresher, very easy to enjoy style of Cognac, that is excellent value.

SULLIVANS COVE SINGLE CASK XO Tiny production but more than worth the chase. A hint of oak, with cinnamon and various spices, plus nectarines, vanilla and glacéd orange. Brilliant stuff. The Double Cask XO is slightly lighter and not as complex, but a joy, nonetheless.

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to blend, much like a chef de cave in Champagne. They need to ensure that their creations are not only of the finest quality, but that they reflect the House style. House DNA is essential to longterm success. Rémy Martin created the very first VSOP in 1927. Their XO is composed of more than 400 components, known as eaux-de-vie. While tradition is an integral part of the operation of any House, they look to new products whenever the opportunity arises. Hennessy now offers their ‘Master Blender’s Selection N°3’ ($105), a single-batch cognac made by 8th-generation Master Blender, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, who took the reins in 2017. Martell have just released their ‘Blue Swift’, a Cognac matured in French oak and finished in Bourbon casks. Hine has also recently added to its range with the ‘H by Hine’ ($100), a Cognac they like to describe as ‘whimsical’. Each to their own. It is, however, a Cognac that is designed to attract a younger audience and one which can be used in cocktails. For a more traditional style, their ‘Antique XO’ ($300) is a superb, traditional style. Brandy and Cognac may be seen as traditional spirits, limited by the perceptions that they themselves have created, but we have seen what happened with gin over the last decade. We know that anything could happen.


HEAD OF LIQUOR, COLES PTY LTD. Cathi Scarce can confidently say she knows the business of liquor retail from the ground up. Starting on the retail floor with the customers to rising through the ranks to head of liquor at Coles, Cathi has learned a thing or two. Here she lends her hard-earned wisdom and insights on an ever-changing liquor retail landscape. Drinks Trade: You have been with Coles for 25 years. In your experience can you describe how has the business and the retail landscape has changed in that time? Cathi Scarce: The biggest change we’re seeing is the way our customers shop, with many seeking a more personalised experience. Our bricks and mortar store offering now has to be complemented by how we talk to our customers online, so we’re not only investing in our stores but in our digital channels. We also know that for customers, value is about more than just price. It means the quality they enjoy and the convenience of having a shop near them with the products they want to buy available on the shelf.

CS:It’s business as usual for us as the Coles Liquor team continues to offer great value and service at our 908 stores. Our job remains to make life easier for our customers and that’s what we’re going to keep doing. The biggest change on the horizon for us from an operational point of view will be the Joint Venture with Australian Venue Co that we announced in March. Under the Joint Venture, AVC will manage the day-to-day operations of Spirit Hotels, while Coles will continue to manage the 253 attached liquor stores. AVC has plans to grow the hotel portfolio in Queensland, which will in turn provide Coles with the opportunity to further grow its retail liquor business in that state.

DT: You have worked from the floor up. How does your previous experience at the coalface assist you in your current role? CS:When you’ve been directly customer-facing as I was for a large part of my career with Coles, you have a very clear picture about what it is that customers want. You also understand the nuances of everything you ask your team to do and you never forget what it feels like to be in-store trying to land everything that comes down from the top – and how important it is that it all translates into the best customer experience in the simplest possible way. Now in my current role I’m looking for ways to make life easier for our team members so they can have more time for our customers. That includes everything from our technology, process simplification, better trading tools and being prepared to listen when they have ideas for making life easier.

DT:You have a 30-year track record in retail management. In your opinion how do you see liquor retail evolving in the future. What will it look like? CS: We know that Australians are drinking less and when they do drink it tends to be more occasion-based. People are looking for something special and seeking out premium products. We’re also seeing customers focus more on health and wellness so the boom in low alcohol and non-alcoholic products is only going to grow. People are also eager to understand where their beverages come from and the story behind them. There’s a movement towards supporting smaller, bespoke wineries, distilleries and craft brewers and the notion that customers are supporting local and they want to see those products represented in their local store. We work hard to ensure we stock a selection of wellknown and loved drinks, as well as supporting emerging boutique products. There is definitely an evolution in how these brands talk to customers and the impact of social media. These days a brand can launch and sell their product entirely through Instagram.

DT:Coles has been through some changes recently with the demerger from Wesfarmers. Can you explain how that has impacted the liquor channel? 30|drinks trade

This changes the way customers interact more directly with suppliers, artisans and brewers so we are looking at ways to take our customers on a similar journey. There’s also growing appetite for liquor delivery and we are proud that Liquorland boasts the fastest Liquor Click & Collect service in Australian retail, with market-leading speed of service offered at almost 700 Liquorland stores nationally. Customers can see stock availability in real-time, by store, and place an order that will be ready to collect in under 30 minutes. DT: What is your view on the onslaught of foreign chains such as the latest German supermarket chain, Kaufland, entering the market. Is Coles Liquor strategically prepared for the increase in competition? CS: Liquor is a very competitive industry and there are lots of independents and small retailers as well as the bigger players. What’s important to us is that we continue to provide amazing quality, great prices and knowledgeable team members who are passionate about the products that we sell. There’s always room for competition in the market so we will continue to focus on how we deliver an interesting range and great service in our many convenient locations around Australia. Customer demand for our exclusive brand

products continues to grow, particularly in the wine category, and in the first half of the financial year these products accounted for almost 20 per cent of liquor sales. In the same period we launched more than 50 new exclusive products and they are fast gaining praise within the industry, with dozens recognised with medals and awards, showcasing our commitment to working with our suppliers to deliver really great products to our customers. In 2018, 27 wines sold exclusively at Vintage Cellars, First Choice Liquor and Liquorland were acknowledged at the Winestate Best Wines of 2018 Awards, including the Story Bay Semillion Sauvignon Blanc, which was named best wine under $20. DT: You have held the top job at Coles Liquor now for almost twelve months. What is your key focus for the next twelve months? CS: One of my key focuses is to continue working with the team to deliver a seamless customer experience and keep growing and improving our digital channels. We will continue to source top quality products from award winning suppliers for our exclusive range and look to innovate and work with suppliers who are developing new products to meet our customers’ evolving needs. I will also be overseeing the continued roll

out of our renewed First Choice Liquor Market proposition and managing the transition through the Joint Venture with Australian Venue Co. DT: Tell us about your role promoting diversity and inclusion in the business. CS: As someone who has grown up in the business it’s been a personal passion for a very long time. It’s very important to me that we are representative of the communities we serve and that we bring diversity of thought into any decisions the business makes for the benefit of all of our customers. It’s also important to ensure that you lead by example. In Coles Liquor, 50 per cent of our senior leadership team and 50 per cent of our liquor state managers are women as an example. I’m also working with industry bodies to help promote diversity and inclusion more broadly, as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for the Drinks Association and as a Board Member for Retail Drinks Association. DT: In your rare down time what is Cathi Scarce’s drink of choice? CS: While an espresso martini is a stable favourite, I’ve also been exploring all the new gins I can get my hands on, particularly gins with botanicals. I call it quality control.

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In what is the biggest Australian spirit deal since Diageo acquired Bundaberg Rum 20 years ago, Drinks Trade talks to founder of Four Pillars Gin, Stuart Gregor, about the future of the business after Lion bought a 50 per cent stake. Drinks Trade: Why did Four Pillars choose Lion? Stuart Gregor: We had some early chats with a few other people and it did mean a bit to us to stick local. I like the fact that the one guy on the board is based in Sydney rather than Paris or London or the US. They (Lion) are pretty serious about building the spirits side of the business and I think they are going to be a serious player over the next few years. We are lucky to be the first one chosen. Vanguard is staying with us and hopefully we will be able to grow with them. This will help our relationship with them. If all we wanted to do was push into the 32|drinks trade

international markets then there might have been something to be said for one of the big straight spirit businesses but I think Lion will help us locally and in the hospitality space. They are a really well run and excellent business in a whole lot of areas. From HR, to systems, to the way they run their business, is as good as anyone globally in the drinks world. One of the things we really liked is we can become a great business by learning a lot from them on how to grow but also how to build craft. It’s the concept of craft with scale that they have done so well with Squires and Little Creatures – think big and act small is our mantra.

DT: How do you see Four Pillars growth now? SG: Our target is half a million bottles for 2019. We would hope to double that in the next few years. We need to get a new still. In 2020 we will start to develop the property next door. With our capital expenditure budget it allows us to start to really plan properly what we are going to do there. We will be able to do more hospitality and more production. Within the next few years I would like to be double what we are now but it’s sustainable growth. That is one of the reasons Lion is good for us. They haven’t said to us, you need to be up 100,000 cases by the end

of next year. They know with a craft business like ours we can’t just aimlessly chase growth wherever it happens to be. We are going to look for growth, proper sustainable growth, in Australian, both on and off. We are going to look at Travel Retail. Here is a big opportunity for us. Travel Retail drives 15 and 20 per cent in some other businesses but it is not even close to that in our business. We just got an order in Dubai. We are in Changi and Hong Kong and Bangkok airport now. It builds our reputation in the market as a serious global gin producer when people start seeing you in great airports around the world.

come June. It’s 100 years since Count Negroni walked into a bar and ordered a Negroni. So we are going to do some cool pre-batch Negroni’s. We are going to sell bottled Negroni in the middle of the year.

DT: Talk to us about innovation? SG: We have to prove to people that we are still doing really interesting craft stuff. What I’m really into is the stuff we call ‘made from gin’ or what we do from the stuff we make from the biproduct of gin, whether that is the marmalade or the cheese or beer. I think we can do more in that space. And then it’s about what do we

do now? What is the next Bloody Shiraz gin? We will have a sexy new Spiced Negroni packaging coming out in the middle of the year. That product took us by surprise. It was a product we made for a bar group and frankly we knocked up the label in house. Now it’s our number four gin. It’s in the core range. We are going to give that a new label

DT: How much did Lion pay for their 50 per cent stake? SG: I can’t tell you that other than to say there has been a lot of speculation. It was a great offer and it’s more than just money. We are investing heaps of it back in. The founders and original investors have got a lot of their money back and were the happiest people in Australia on the day of the deal. People forget that we had to re-mortgage houses and banks wouldn’t give us any money. One of the banks who would not give us money for years are all over us now. (laughs) We begged, borrowed and stole quite literally. It’s easy to say now, how well have they done, but there was a few hairy moments there and we were lucky our partners were right behind us. We

really thought we had to give it a red-hot go and we went all in which is my style. DT: Did Four Pillars consider selling off 100 per cent? SG: The danger of selling the whole thing was us just knicking off. It was never discussed. We would never have done it. They (Lion) would have woken up saying, what do we do with this place? Stu’s in Bermuda playing golf? It’s the ideal way of doing it. We are only five years old. There is still a long way for us to go to establish ourselves where we want to be. It makes for fun times ahead. DT: What is Stuart Gregor up to right now? SG: We are doing our first Asian based cocktail competition and our first final is in Bangkok on Thursday so I am going up to judge that. One of the boys at the distillery who is an investor is getting married in Koh Samui this weekend. We have one dozen staff going. He has timed it beautifully.

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Where to now for

West Australian Wine?

Vasse Felix Estate

After successive years of outstanding show and critical acclaim, West Australian winemakers have been brought down to earth, not necessarily with a thud, but with a decent jolt. For the first time in many years – 2006 brings a chilling reminder, literally of the last really challenging vintage – winemakers have been confronted with a difficult vintage. Ray Jordan reports.


rosts, a cooler spring and summer, and then unseasonal rain in some areas, have resulted in significant crop losses of up to 50 per cent in some cases. The counter to that has been the high quality of the fruit, but of course that only goes so far. The healthy demand built up by recent successes and consumer acceptance of the outstanding quality across the board will go largely unmet in many cases. This reduced crop compounds the broader issue for the Australian wine industry for the 2019 vintage, with volumes significantly down in

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other areas such as the Barossa in South Australia. A slightly reduced vintage will create an unusual headache for the industry, with the Australian Wine: Production Sales and Inventory Report revealing Australian wine sales exceeding production in 2017-18 by an estimated seven million cases (5 per cent of production). This is the biggest margin since 2010-11 and comes as inventories have been drawn down to meet the strong growth in exports and stable domestic sales, together with the smaller grape crush in 2018 leading to a drop of 10 million cases in wine production.

For retailers and wine consumers the good news is the previous few vintages have produced some excellent wines and many of these are pumping through into the system. For instance, the robust and powerful 16s are offering superb wines across the board, the cooler and elegant 17s are providing expressive modern drinking, while the much anticipated 18s are only just starting to emerge. For many winemakers the 2018 vintage produced some of the finest fruit, especially the reds, and the best of these should start to find their way into the shops later this year. Many

winemakers are convinced this is one of the great WA vintages across the board. Already the aromatic whites, and some of the less sophisticated reds, have snuck into the market. The indications are exciting. Expect them to perform very well in national wine shows as well. There have been many highlights in the past years as the state’s winemakers continue to lift the bar. For instance, for the first time, two wines – the Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Malbec 2014, and the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2015, were both awarded 99 points in my West

E vans & Tate

Australian Wine Guide 2019. Sitting just below those two great wines were a few other stars which all recorded 98 points, showing yet again the tremendous depth of the state’s wine industry. At the 2018 Perth Royal Wine Show, West Australian wine producer, Peter Fogarty, dominated. Three of his WA wineries, Evans & Tate, Millbrook and Deep Woods, won a total of 10 trophies. The star was the modestly priced Evans & Tate Broadway Chardonnay 2016,

which won five trophies, including best wine of the show, best white of the show and best Chardonnay. Fogarty’s Perth Hills based Millbrook won four trophies, including the unlikely double of best WA producer and best WA producer under 300 tonnes, and for the best Sauvignon Blanc, and for the highest average score for five or more wines. His Margaret River based Deep Woods won the trophy for best Cabernet with the Reserve

Cabernet Sauvignon, against some stiff competition, which also included two other WA wines the Xanadu Stevens Road and Ringbolt. Of note was the performance of West Australian Chardonnays in winning 11 of the 20 gold medals awarded for 2016 and 2017 Chardonnays, against some of the best Chardonnays in the land. This mirrors the recent vintages of many of the superstar producers from Margaret River. These wines such as Leeuwin Estate and

Vasse Felix are never shown in wine shows, but critical acclaims points to the supreme quality that has them ranked with the finest Chardonnays in the world. The new Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay 2016 was released at the beginning of April, and already has been awarded 99-plus. At the same time, it has got a lot of industry people excited about it. And when you look at recent releases from others such as Vasse Felix Heytesbury and Cullen’s Kevin

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John, which are the equal or better than anything they have released, you get an idea of how good these wines are. In a year of show success, it’s hard to go past the Jimmy Watson, which headed west for the fourth time in a decade with Margaret River’s Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 winning the trophy against the hottest field of red wines assembled at any capital city wine show this year. This is the sixth West Australian wine to win the trophy. Cape Mentelle’s famous wins in 1983 and 1984 focused the global spotlight on Margaret River for the first time, and then Flametree in 2008, Harvey River Bridge Estate in 2010, and Deep Woods in 2016 had success. The success and quality of WA wines is not hard to understand. Viticulturists have made subtle and sometimes significant changes in the vineyard that have resulted in better quality and more consistent fruit being delivered into the weighbridge for the winemakers. In the winery, the winemakers have also developed a better understanding of the fruit, and the styles of wines they are seeking.

For instance, the Chardonnays are predominantly made with very little new oak – Leeuwin is an obvious and significant exception – and varying amounts of malolactic fermentation. As well many, if not most, winemakers are using natural yeasts. The results are wines that have better balance and a purer expression of the natural fruit qualities. They are also finer in the modern style, but not so fine and delicate to be insipid and lacking flavor. There is a balance here and they are getting it right. The reds too have seen significant change. The Cabernet also uses a mix of new and old oak and the retention of the fruit characters is exceptional. The wines are better balanced as winemakers have moved away from the big chunky massively robust styles, towards wines that are elegant and refined. The Shiraz too has changed with wines from Frankland River showing more vineyard expression and less full-blown opulence. They are still rich and flavorsome but present with more finesse. And of course, the blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc

is made increasingly with more winemaking influence, resulting in wines of great complexity and ultimately greater interest. There is still a place for the totally fruit-driven styles, but these newer expressions provide a compelling alternative. For producers exporting, the Chinese market continues to provide exciting opportunities as this massive potential wine drinking country becomes increasingly interested in wines from the New World. Those producers who have put in the time to build relationships over several years are being rewarded with good sales. The encouraging thing is the price per litre of wine being exported is increasing, marking the shift from volume to quality, which is what West Australian wines are all about.

A lot of WA wines have pushed through the $100 mark in recent years. When you stack these wines up against the best in the world, they match them on quality that means in comparison WA wines are very cheap. It is inevitable a few are going to push even higher, and we are seeing that now. It is a sign of a maturing wine industry that wines sold for $200 and $300, or more in a few cases, are finding eager markets. It is inevitable that, especially in China where price is still seen as a good guide to quality, a few more are going to head towards $500 soon. At the other end of the price spectrum, there is a lot of great value for money wines, offering excellent drinking. In fact, some of these wines are truly exceptional and could easily sell for a lot higher prices.

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Drinks Trade had the opportunity to delve into the mind of Alexander Lambrecht, CUB’s recently appointed Vice President of Marketing, Australia. A tuned in marketer with an enviable campaign record for the midas touch, Lambrecht talks on his unwavering devotion to beer, the next big opportunities, and the difference global experience can make. 38|drinks trade

Drinks Trade: You were born and bred in Belgium, the land of beer. How did that influence your career choice? Alexander Lambrecht: It was ultimately my destiny to end up at ABI and CUB because I am a beer guy. I went to university in Leuven. I worked in a Stella Artois bar for three years. I met my wife drinking Jupiler in a small pub. At our wedding beer won the share of throat. (laughs) When I go back to Belgium the only thing I want to do with my friend is have a beer and catch up. I love what beer does in society. I am in the business of celebrating life. That’s what I love about the mission of the company – the dream of bringing people together for a better world. I truly believe beer can have an impact on society because the WHO states the biggest disease for the next decade to come is social isolation and depression. I say to people who are going to Belgium, if you are looking for a bar, look for a church, because next to the church you will always find at least one bar. In the Middle Ages that’s what people would do, they would go to church and then come together over a beer after service. That’s how beer became the original social networker, and I believe that is the reality today. Having a passion for beer and marketing and being energized by the dream and culture of the company speaks a lot to my personality. DT: What was the most successful marketing campaign you have worked on and why was it successful? AL: The most successful campaign I worked on was a Budweiser campaign in China. Budweiser is a premium brand in China. It was the leader in the premium segment. One of the key celebration moments for premium brands is Chinese New Year. For the Year of the Horse in 2013 we decided to mount a big campaign. For the Chinese the horse is a very aspirational animal because it means strength and success. The icon of Budweiser is the Clydesdale, the biggest horse. Understanding that red and gold are the premium lucky colours for the Chinese, we created limited edition packaging with the Budweiser red and the gold

Clydesdale. We organized one million dinner parties across Chinese restaurants so they could buy Budweiser on the night of Chinese New Year. We broadcast live on Chinese TV the Clydesdales walking out of the Great Wall on red carpet to bring good fortune to the Chinese people. I’m getting goose bumps thinking about it. So why was it successful? Because it was based on real consumer truths and insights. It started off like everything successful, with a true and really good understanding of consumers. It was authentic, because we allowed people to celebrate New Year with friends and family and it also had a disruptive component with the arrival of the Clydesdales. Leading up to New Year we took the Clydesdales on a tour across China to all of the key Budweiser markets and it was very aspirational. People would queue up for three hours to have a meet and greet with the horses, that’s how meaningful it was with consumers. We had three gentlemen proposing to their girlfriends in front of the Clydesdales because they represented success. Back then we achieved record market share and since it has doubled in China. It was my most successful campaign, and I am very proud of it. DT: What skills do you need to market in different cultures? AL: At the end of the day being a marketer is the same all around the world. It is about understanding consumers, to figure out what I can do to win their hearts, and minds, and, let’s be honest, wallets. One of the most important skills for a marketer is empathy. It is empathy in terms of understanding consumers and local cultural nuances and how they are being expressed. Values are the same all over the world but how they are expressed locally is very different. When I went to China I did not speak Mandarin but I spent my first week understanding the culture - what are the values around status and ambition, the two core values of Budweiser, being expressed in the Chinese market? As long as you truly understand that you can be successful in a marketing role, irrespective of where you are. That has proven to be the key to success for me.

DT: Is there anything unique about the Australian culture that is different from other markets you have worked in? AL: Australians are very friendly and when you are a marketer you want to get to the truth don’t just tell me you like it because you are a nice person. Unlocking the truth and the needs of the consumer is critical. There are still some trends that can hit the market here. Digital transformation and how that is going to come to life in Australia will be fascinating. It’s a mature market so consumer needs are evolving rapidly. DT: What is the current focus for CUB? AL: The most important thing is we have a very strong portfolio. The strength of our portfolio, including outside beer, is one of our competitive advantages. More than ever consumer needs have evolved. We need to tap into new consumer trends such as for health and wellbeing with Pure Blonde and our other mid-strength propositions. Within the beer framework there are still a lot of opportunities to unlock new occasions. Consumers enjoy beer very much. It is very anchored in the Australian way of living, that social relaxation moment at the end of the day, not only in summer but all year, which is great. That is the centre of gravity of beer and always will be, however, there are other opportunities where beer can play a meaningful role. We are going to try and unlock that. Secondly, there are consumer needs that we cannot answer with beer. That’s where we look at what we call adjacencies - ventures within non-alcoholic, draft cocktails and cider. They are very relevant because beer cannot go there. In both areas we are trying to disrupt and to positively surprise consumers. In today’s world I don’t know how many thousand of stimulus consumers are hit with on a daily basis. If you are not grabbing their attention you cannot talk to them. We want to disrupt; we want to earn their trust; we want to earn the conversation with them. It’s a journey of maximizing the portfolio of beer and outside of beer and continuously trying to grab and disrupt consumer attention.

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Enjoy Hardys responsibly

ON WINEMAKING Toby Barlow, senior winemaker at St Hallett shows how his love of chemistry and philosophy feeds the art of winemaking. Drinks Trade: When did you start your career in winemaking? Toby Barlow: Back in 1997 I had finished my first degree, done my travelling in South East Asia and was really broke. I tried a job in a Sydney office and really hated it. My father had decided to plant a vineyard in the Strathbogie Ranges, just north of Melbourne. I went down, planted vines and lived in the shearers quarters for about six months. I met a few winemakers from Brown Brothers and they encouraged me to sign up to the winemaking degree at Adelaide University and I did my first vintage at Brown Brothers in 1998. DT: Is it true your first degree was in Chemistry and Philosophy? TB: My first degree was a Bachelor of Arts and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I enjoyed Philosophy a lot so I thought of following that through. I was good at Chemistry so I followed that through to mid way through third year and decided I better finish something so I finished off the Philosophy major. DT: Who was your favourite philosopher? TB: I am listening to a few podcasts by Jordan Peterson and he quotes back to a lot of the German’s such as Kant and Heidegger and those philosophers I find really interesting. My main piece was around contemporary feminism and masculinity. Ethics of care interests me a lot. There are pieces that you take with you from each philosopher.

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WINE DT: How has philosophy helped your winemaking? TB: There is that element of the creative piece. I did a fair bit on aesthetics too and that is probably that part of wine that is the really fun stuff and then underneath it is the science stuff, which I like, and you have to know it, and it’s part of it. I don’t mind a glass of wine either so that helps. DT: Tell us about your passion for innovation in the winery? TB: I will use an analogy that is perhaps a long bow to draw but I went to this fashion exhibition with my wife (I was the only guy on the tour). They had all these Chanel dresses and were talking about when Karl Lagerfield took over. Essentially what he did was he kept the dress and the shape but just changed the weave and that was really noticeable. I think with established brands such as St Hallett you have to be a bit like that. You have to develop a bit of an understanding about what the brand is. The thing with wine is you only get one go every year. You need to push yourself and have a crack at things. If I think of St Hallett, I think all our wines should have a little bit of a thumb print of freshness and vitality. Sure, some of our styles have to be the classic rich and robust Barossa, but should still be recognisable as St Hallett’s. 42|drinks trade

DT: How was the latest vintage in the Barossa? TB: The latest vintage was very small, short, fast and furious. Definitely not a vintage for the faint hearted. There is quite a bit of concentration to the wines. We are seeing a lot of colour, a lot of tannin structure. Yeilds were on average 40 to 45 per cent down, so not great for growers and wineries in terms of what we got, but it looks reasonably promising. Grenache is looking particularly good this year. It’s been one of those odd vintages. For us to be finished even now is unusual. DT: How do you think climate change is impacting our wines? TB: Vintages are earlier and more compacted. It’s part of that adaptation piece. With climate change there is a lot of good stuff that has been done in the vineyards in the last ten to fifteen years such as mulching and more effective use of water. The same thing at the wineries, some of the challenges with these vintages are just infrastructure. It’s something we need to be mindful of because I don’t think it is going to change. It is heading more and more that way. My Dad is a climate change scientist so I am hardly one to sit on the fence. I am definitely on the believer side and how we adapt to it. The political football that it has been has been a little bit disappointing for some Australians. I can’t believe we are just getting

on top of it because it’s kind of imminent and happening. DT: Who has been the most influential person in your wine career? TB: That is a really tough one but I have to say it probably is Don Lewis. He passed away last year. He was at Mitchelton. It was that phase where I was doing my vintages and I managed to snag a winemaker role and I was a bit in the deep end. He had a really good way about him in the sense that he encouraged me to go on and try new things. He was always encouraging. I feel very fortunate in the wine game. I have been lucky enough to come at the end of the boom time, but I have met a lot of people, I’ve got to travel all over the world. You meet a lot of good people. DT: What is your favourite wine for in front of a fire in winter? TB: You are asking a wine nerd here. I do like really good Cabernet and I like Shiraz. I worked in the Rhone and in the Barossa. I can’t tell you - I am completely occasion driven. I love all the classics. Great Pinot and great Chardonnay are hard to beat. I can’t nail it down. DT: What are your thoughts on the waning popularity of Cabernet? TB: It’s interesting because some of the greatest wines in the world are Cabernet. Unfortunately in Australia Coonawarra lost its way

and was making really hard wines, really tough wines that had to sit in a bottle forever before you could even have a look at it. I think Margaret River has redefined the style into a more aromatic, medium style that is beautiful. Coonawarra has now made a comeback. I just felt people stepped out of it because they were just too tannic and people don’t want to drink something that dries their mouth out. It’s a pretty good time now for Cabernet. I think all the varietals go through these stages. You look at Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a killer now in Australia. It is world class but we did go through that massive blocky, oaky stage to the really lean stage and then people got in the zone. I sort of feel Shiraz is two to five years behind that in its cycle. It went from the really big massive oaky bombs and then it went super duper bunchy and lean and now it’s coming back to really beautiful balance. I am really positive about what I see on the show circuit in Shiraz classes. You look at what people are drinking now and there is definitely a trend away from super heavy wines. There are still people who want to drink the 16 per cent Barossa Shiraz. It’s out there. I just can’t bring myself to make it. I do acknowledge the style. I’m happy for producers to be making it if it drives the overall value of Barossa wine up, that’s fine, but I don’t want to drink it.

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LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW It’s time for drink brands to promote for the après ski occasion. Drinks Trade investigates who will be hitting the slopes this winter.


here is no better way to end a day in the snow than by sitting by an open fire and thawing out from the inside. Traditionally hot and spicy liqueurs and spirits such as Jägermeister and Fireball like to own the mountains but let’s not forget the allure of a warm mulled wine, the sessionability of good rich ale or the boost of an Espresso Martini to warm the cockles. There is much happening in the snow in terms of investment and this fertile ground to promote

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to the après ski market can only benefit drinks brands. Recently Vale Resorts purchased Mount Hotham and Falls Creek for $174 million showing healthy growth and investment into the ski fields for future snow boarding and skiing generations. Owner of the Dinner Plain Hotel on the Victorian Ski Fields, Georgia Sheriff, knows a thing or two about drinking in the snow. In her past life she was Victorian sales rep. for Jägermeister when Buller, Falls Creek and Hotham were her

‘babies’. She says people still want to drink what they like when they are on their ski holiday but explains that brands and on-premise still very much have the ability to create the culture and push a brand depending on winter promotions. Georgia says the stalwart snow brands such as Fireball, Jagermeister and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire Whiskey are still big but cocktails are becoming more popular. “In the past many après ski customers still enjoy the idea of

doing a shot together as a group but the shot is not as big in the snow as it was say a decade ago.” Cocktails such as the Espresso Martini have translated well into the snow. Dinner Plain Hotel does its own version, the Kracken Espresso Martini, using spiced rum instead of vodka. Traditionally mulled wine has always been a ski resort favourite but Georgia says there can be issues with consistency. “Everyone of my staff thinks they are a mixologist and can

“In the past many après ski customers still enjoy the idea of doing a shot together as a group but the shot is not as big in the snow as it was say a decade ago.” make the best mulled wine but you don’t get the consistency so we purchase this beautiful pre-mix that we add red wine to and it’s awesome.” In terms of brand activation, she says Jägermeister is still the number one supporter of the snow and provides the on-premise with snowboards and hoodies but also brands such as Canadian Club and Dry provide crazy sherper hats for customers and Corona provides beanies. Carlton and United’s Frothy Ale from Matilda Bay will also look to invest in the snow this season. Brand Manager for Frothy, Stephen McWilliams said Frothy has been really well received at the Dinner Plain Hotel since the beer launched last September. “This ski season we’re excited to be ramping up our involvement with the hotel. This will see discounted jugs of Frothy for winter staff working at the snow plus other exciting promotions,” he said. Georgia says there is a big element of attaching the après ski occasion and the brand to the good time that customers have on their skiing or snowboarding holiday and then taking that memory home. “Because we all work on memory and emotions,” she said. Senoir Brand Manager at Fireball, Jon Prew, says they are keeping some activations under wraps for now, so as to not spoil any surprises but “rest assured we’ll be bringing the fire to Jindabyne, Thredbo, Perisher and Falls this season because there is nothing better than a Fireball shot to warm you up after a day on the slopes.”

What they can tell us is they have collaborated with Aussie art legend, Le Grizz who has created some Fireball x Le Grizz snowboards, t-shirts and hockey jerseys. “Our crew of ambassadors will be shredding on these, and more will be available to win in bars and for sale on our merchandise store www.fireballmerch.com.au,” says Jon. Fireball also work with Instagram and Facebook to target the Fireball demographic and gain awareness around the brand’s strategy in the winter season, as well as employ half a dozen part-time snowboard ambassadors to spread the word on the slopes. “We are partnering with Thredbo for Fireball Fridays where boarders and skiers can get a Fireball shot between four and six pm when they come straight off the slopes before moving onto their drink of choice,” says Jon. Jägermeister really promote the sharing and creating memories piece and call it a drink not to be drunk alone. Jägermeister brand manager, Tomas Rogers says Jägermeister will be looking at smaller events in the snow this year, less big giveaways and prizes and more intimate events where the brand can be enjoyed. “We are working on a few things. Watch this space,” he says. When asked about great ways to consume Jägermeister, Tomas said either an ice cold shot straight out of the freezer like they do in Germany or in a cocktail such as the Jägermeister Mule with a dash of bitters and ginger beer.

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RRP: $60 • Distributor: Proximo Spirits Eire Born Spirits and its founder, Conor McGregor, has launched his Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey in Australia. “I appreciate the support from the people of Australia. This is a proper Irish whiskey from a proper Irishman made with Ireland’s best spring water, fine golden grain and single malt. It is pure liquid gold,” McGregor said. The brand has achieved record-breaking sales in its first six months on the market. Its spirit handle @properwhiskey is clocking in at 577,000 followers on Instagram that features exclusive content and videos from McGregor himself.

RRP: $1.99 single can, $6 multi-pack and $3.99 for 750 ml bottle • Distributor: Kraft Heinz The new Golden Circle Sparkling range is made from real fruit juice and bubbles with no added sugar and no artificial colours and flavours. The new sparkling juices are available in three flavours, Crisp Apple, Zesty Apple, Lemon & Lime and Apple & Tropical Punch and will come in both single can and bottle formats as well as multi-packs.

4. SODA PRESS CO. KOMBUCHA SYRUP FOR SODASTREAM 2. CHANDON VINTAGE BRUT 2015 RRP: $35 per 750 ml bottle • Distributor: Moët Hennessy Australia Chandon Australia has released its first 100 per cent estate grown sparkling wine. Sourced exclusively from Chandon’s three estate vineyards in Strathbogie, Whitlands and its winery home in the Yarra Valley. The winery says this ensures the premium quality of the fruit. Chandon Vintage Brut 2015 shows aromas of pink grapefruit, citrus zest, white peach and hazelnut.

RRP: $14.95 • Distributor: Soda Press Co. The Original Kombucha is the latest addition to the family of natural, reduced sugar soda syrups made from organic ingredients and crafted for SodaStream’s sparkling water system. Now consumers can make their own Kombucha at home. The good news is it is packed with over 1 billion live probiotics per serve – allegedly three times higher than the average Kombucha with less that one gram of sugar per serve.

5. NUSA CAÑA RUM RTD RRP: $19.95 for a four pack • Distributor: Artisan Hand Crafted Crafted on Java, the original home of Indonesian rum, the heart of Nusa Caña is a rich Indonesian sugar cane spirit, now available in a convenient RTD with the popular ‘Fairhead’ cocktail mix of Nusa Caña, cane sugar, brewed Indonesian ginger root and lemongrass.


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RRP: $60 • Distributor: Southtrade International Dublin Liberties Distillery have launched the Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey (see Trade Activity). Inspired by the notorious Irish street gang, The Dead Rabbits, active in New York City in the late 19th century, the new whiskey is a collaboration between world-renowned The Liberties’ Irish Whiskey Master Distiller, Daryl McNally, and The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog cofounders, Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon. Available in on-premise.

RRP: The Esteemed Creator Shiraz Cabernet 2016: $500.00, The Noble Explorer Shiraz 2017: $40.00, The Commander in Chief Shiraz Cabernet 2017: RRP $40.00, The Creative Genius Cabernet Sauvignon 2017: $40.00 • Distributor: Treasury Wine Estates Penfolds has announced the release of the Tribute range in celebration of 175 years. To commemorate the milestone anniversary, the brand has launched four limited-edition wines each dedicated to an individual from the Penfolds journey and pays homage to their influence and include founders, Mary and Dr. Christopher Penfold, Ray Beckwith and Grange creator, Max Shubert. The wines combine South Australian wine from the 2016 and 2017 vintages.

7. PENFOLDS CHAMPAGNE: 2012 CHAMPAGNE THIÉNOT X PENFOLDS CHARDONNAY PINOT NOIR CUVÉE, BLANC DE NOIRS (AŸ GRAND CRU) AND BLANC DE BLANCS (AVIZE GRAND CRU) RRP: $280 per 750 ml bottle • Distributor: Treasury Wine Estates Australian winemaker Penfolds has unveiled a new collaboration with family-owned Champagne House Thiénot. Three Champagnes from the 2012 vintage have been created, a chardonnay pinot noir cuvée and two single vineyard wines – a Blanc de Noirs and a Blanc de Blancs. This symbolically celebrates Penfolds 175th anniversary and marks the start of a wonderful French and Australian wine alliance.


9. STRANGELOVE LO-CAL SODA RRP: $11.99 for 4 x 300 ml bottles • Distributors: Bibendum Wine Co, Feel Good Foods and Two Providores Melbourne-based brand, StrangeLove, has released StrangeLove LoCal sodas - a range of clean, light and innovative low-sugar sodas that experiment with exotic flavours and address the trend of healthier nonalcoholic beverages with adult palate profiles.


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DEAD RABBIT IRISH WHISKEY LAUNCH It was only fitting that the Australian launch of Dead Rabbit from the Dublin Liberties Distillery took place at The Burrow in Sydney, a bar tucked away in an alley, behind a small steel door, stained with the letter ‘B’. Southtrade International showcased this unique blend to the trade made from 35 per cent Irish Malt and 65 per cent whiskey grain. Finished in small, hand-crafted, first-fill American oak barrels, Dead Rabbit has depth and character with a lingering note of sweet vanilla and bourbon. Along with Dead Rabbit, other whiskies from the Dublin Liberties whiskey range were on tasting including the Oak Devil and Copper Alley. The Oak devil tasted like “Christmas cake infused with chilli”, said Geoff Sperian, the Dublin Liberties global brand ambassador. Whereas Copper Alley has distinct notes of sherry and dark fruit from ten years aging in bourbon casks and finished in 30-year-old sherry casks.

MILLER DESIGN LAB A CREATIVE CAMPAIGN GAMES OF THRONES WHISKIES LAUNCHED AT MJØLNER IN SYDNEY The launch party for the Diageo and HBO Game of Thrones (GoT) limited-edition whiskies was held at the perfectly fitting Viking-inspired Mjølner in Sydney. The collection of seven single malt scotch whiskies are inspired by the iconic TV programme’s six Houses of Westeros and the Night’s Watch. Waiters and bartenders were dressed in leather corsets and cuffs with linen shirts and woven fabrics, much like being on the set of GoT. Seven large wooden tables were dispersed around the venue, each themed around a different whisky from the collection. Decorated with objects and food that symbolised its designated whisky’s palates and GoT House. 48|drinks trade

The Miller Genuine Draft’s, Miller Design Lab was an innovative and unexpected creative campaign where people enjoyed art, culture, music and the refreshing taste of Miller Genuine Draft while they engaged with the brand in a new and innovative way. The sold-out events had over 2,000 people attend over the 10 days and attracted some of the hottest acts in music to collaborate with the brand including MoJo Juju, Yo Mafia, Total Giovanni, Spacey Space, Sunshine, CASSETTE, Alice Q, DAWS, Lewis Cancut and DJ Sezzo, amongst others. Designers who were involved in the concept included light sculptor, Meagan Streader, street artist, Buff Diss, Pitch Studios Founder and Creative Director, Christie Morgan and textile creators, DREAMCATCHERSDREAMTIME X Think Positive Prints. All five designers created an immersive concept for guests within the SoHigh gallery space which was a reflection of the ‘gold is the new black’ theme and an engaging expression of their interpretation of exceptional experiences, with Buff, Meagan and Christie all hailing from Melbourne.
























The home of Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Pinot Noir


www.loirevalleywine.com @AusLoire



@LoirevalleywinesAUS drinks trade|49

LA LA LAND SPONSORS OF WEST SIDE STORY La La Land the is proud to announce they are the official wine for the 2019 Broadway Classic musical West Side Story. This eclectic collection of Victorian wines, crafted from less common grape varieties and oozing creative flair, will be served at all official events, including the star-studded opening nights and VIP Gala nights.

ST HUGO CHIEF WINEMAKER, PETER MUNRO,TRACKSIDE AT MELBOURNE F1 Pernod Ricard’s premium Australian wine brand, St Hugo, was served trackside at this year’s Australian Formula 1 Rolex Grand Prix. It is the first year of a partnership that showcases the brand to high-end consumers and aspirational drinkers in the exclusive Paddock Club. The event served as the perfect opportunity to introduce the new Chief Winemaker, Peter Munro, who was in attendance at the Paddock Club. The Paddock Club is not too dissimilar to the Bird Cage at Flemington where corporate hospitality and well-dressed sports aficionados enjoy the buzz of competition alongside high-end consumer goods and entertainment; instead of the usual bubbles and celebratory marquees, a premium wine brand that includes a multi award winning Coonawarra Cabernet, was the centre of beverage attention among the beautiful people. And what a stage to announce the new Chief Winemaker. Peter Munro has taken on the responsibility for the style and quality, character and elegance of one of Australia’s iconic wine brands. Munro has experience spanning the Barossa, Tasmania, Hawke’s Bay and the Napa Valley, and with more than 20 years under his belt and love of both art and science, Munro is ready for an exciting new challenge in his winemaking career. “My passion is to create outstanding fine wines that excite the consumer, wines to be enjoyed and interpreted over time. A good wine should be an imaginative and poetic reflection of its origin. It’s an honour to join this incredible team of winemakers and I look forward to crafting wines for a brand that I’ve long admired.” Peter said. The St Hugo Cabernet has won a gold medal in every year of its making, the brand having accumulated over 1000 wine show awards and over 30 trophies. 50|drinks trade

ILG NSW GOLF DAY A BIG HIT ILG members were back at Kooindah Waters for the fifth year in a row with 120 golf players for an 18-hole round on an Ambrose shotgun start. ILG’s Golf Days continue to be a strong exchange platform well received and enjoyed by members, both retailers and suppliers. Tom Andrews of the Belmore Hotel, David Begg of Casella Wines and Blake Stanley of Campari were joined by a last-minute ring-in and ended up winners on the day with a net 56. ILG CEO, Paul Esposito, congratulated all members. “You guys are smashing it. You’re buying more product than you were last year and the results look strong. The trading team has put a good programme together – you’ve seen that with more catalogues and we’re mixing it up. Especially this month, with Easter moving into April, it looks like we’re going to beat last years’ number, that’s a good effort,” he said. “This can’t be done without your support, and we’ve got some good things in place. We need to stick together and continue down that road, and we look forward to sharing our continued vision on how we can develop in the future,” he continued.


Key drinks industry events between now and the end of the year. Mark your calendars and get involved

JULY 21 & 22


JUNE 14 & 15 WHISKY LIVE BRISBANE (W BRISBANE) For all details on Whisky LIVE go to www.whiskylive.com.au

AUSTRALIAN WINE LIST OF THE YEAR (VINTEC SHOWROOM, ROSEBERY) Established in 1994 by Rob and Judy Hirst from Tucker Seabrook, the awards set the benchmark for restaurants and hotels to aspire to with the standards of their winelists. To quote Huon Hooke; “the standards have improved out of sight since the first Awards 20 years ago”, and each year the bar keeps rising. www.winelistoftheyear.com.au

JULY 26 & 27 WHISKY LIVE PERTH (PAN PACIFIC HOTEL, PERTH) For all details on Whisky LIVE go to www.whiskylive.com.au

AUGUST 22 AUSTRALIAN DRINKS AWARDS (DOLTONE HOUSE, JONES BAY WHARF} The industry owned drinks awards promotes excellence in the Australian drinks industry. The top 200 brands are judged through a transparent, credible and clear process - making the Australian drinks Awards the ultimate accolade in the industry. www.australiandrinksawards.com.au

OCTOBER 13 & 14 T25 BARTENDER AWARDS (MARBLE BAR, HILTON SYDNEY) October 13 & 14 is the 2019 Bartenders Weekend where the top 25 bartenders in Australia (as voted by bartenders) are invited to celebrate in true hospo style. The best of the best will be mixing up drinks and entertaining the crowds on Monday the 14th. Visit www.drinks.world to nominate your favourite bartender, and get a ticket to the party of the year. www.drinks.world

OCTOBER 25 - NOVEMBER 3 SYDNEY BEER WEEK (ALL OVER SYDNEY) The biggest and best celebration of beer in Sydney. Love beer? Go to: www.sydneybeerweek.com.au


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THE CHALLENGE OF GETTING CUSTOMERS INTO YOUR STORE Internationally recognised wine correspondent, author, ’maker of wine’, consultant and public speaker, Robert Joseph’s career has spanned decades and attracted plaudits such as being recognised in Decanter Magazine’s 50 most influential people in the wine industry - globally. Drinks Trade Publisher Ashley Pini caught up with Robert before his upcoming series of workshops with the Liquor Barons Group from West Australia, to discuss his current projects, passion and the rise of cannabis. Drinks Trade: Having led a distinguished editorial career with London’s Sunday Telegraph, Meininger’s Wine Business magazine and authoring 28 books, what projects are you working on now? Robert Joseph: Right now I’m working on several projects, not least of which is my own wine business along with some consultancy work, actually working in Eastern Europe on some Wine Australia stuff, and some forwardlooking wine business work, such as the sessions we are doing with Liquor Barons. DT: How did you transition into the winemaking side of the business, and where did it start? RJ: It was three of us. Hugh Ryman, Kevin Shaw and I. We found a set of co-operatives in the Languedoc that had 6,500 hectares of varied land - mountains on one side and the sea not far on the other and importantly a very receptive team of people running it. We also had an idea of a consumer-driven wine, rather than the traditional French winemaking rules. Our neighbours all thought we were crazy - that’s 52|drinks trade

how the name the Black Sheep came about. For about a minute, the brand was to be called Mouton Noir, but then a certain Chateau disagreed. The name has become Le Grand Noir. Kevin Shaw is the man behind the Hendricks label, he is the Johnny Ives of labelling, ultra bright, the go-to man in the UK for wine labels, and with Hugh Ryan, an extraordinarily gifted winemaker, the three of us embarked on getting the winery and distributors to believe in us back in 05/06. Today we’re in 52 markets, and we do 3million bottles, which in Australia isn’t that big, to be honest, but in France, we’re big - as France still doesn’t do brands very well. DT: Has your varied experience helped you in developing the brand? RJ: Yes. Take the Australian experience, for example. I’ve always noticed how Australian winemakers wanted to know what the buyers thought of their wine and would actively change their wines in some cases, to suit — recognising that the customer’s needs are paramount. The Californians didn’t do that, and the French didn’t

The relationship the winery formed turns out to be a one-night-stand, without the consumer necessarily wanting that to happen. do that - it was very much the way Australians accessed the UK market. Like that, we are hugely market driven with our wines. DT: What do you see as the future of wine? RJ: I’ve benefited from a unique view of the world from wearing several hats. One of the workshops we are doing with the Liquor Barons retailers will feature a slide, which is the Alphabet of Wine. With only has 25 letters. It’s missing the Y, and it’s the Y that doesn’t get asked. Take for instance, why is the only recognised co-ferment of back and white grapes a shiraz-viognier? I remember Peter Lehman telling me he’d done a co-ferment with muscatel and shiraz that had worked every bit as well as Viognier. So why don’t people try different things and why do we presume that the future is going to be the same shape as that we see today. DT: And for retailers? RJ: The same applies. Why is this distribution model be the one we are going to have in 50 years. Why should it not evolve? It is already the online shopping experience, for example, which, in my opinion, is pretty horrible. Some will say that a wall of wine isn’t that much fun, but scrolling through a website isn’t that much fun either. So why can’t I ask Alexa in my house to buy me a bottle of merlot that will be delivered to my door? Alexa will be able to tell me what I bought last week, last month, and last year. Alexa might say - “do you want that bottle you bought last week?” Alternatively, “do you want the wine you had at your friend’s house yesterday?”. What we’re moving towards is ‘Social Commerce’ which I’m somewhat obsessed with. The reason for this is that I’ve been looking at the revenues of the social media platforms like We Chat and Facebook and Instagram. The We Chat platform has similar revenues as Facebook, but with a third of the users; it’s more transactional than advertising driven. DT: Does the experience change the retailer producer relationship? RJ: Of course: brands can sell directly through those platforms, and so the consumer purchasing dynamic will change as we primarily compete. Wineries can deal directly, be it still via the social media platform. The danger of this scenario is that whichever platform has facilitated this transaction, be it Facebook or

Amazon, they now know that I purchased a particular wine and can say “you know that nice Bordeaux style “XYZ” cabernet you had last week? Why don’t you try a real Bordeaux?”. Also, that relationship the winery formed turns out to be a one-night-stand, without the consumer necessarily wanting that to happen. So, on the one hand, we are going to see a way to facilitate purchasing and familiarisation through the platforms, but on the other, we are going to put much more pressure on brand owners to create the interest and then loyalty. DT: What are the fundamental changes you see? RJ: Growth in private-label, and challenging the perception of what wine is. The private label growth is advanced in Australia already, and the change in wine styles is starting to gain momentum. Fruit flavoured wines, we’ve seen them fly in recent times. Are they wine? No, they’re not, but they are in wine shaped bottles, and people are buying them. Bourbon barrel aged wines are hugely popular in the States right now. Also, artificial wine, wine with no grapes at all, have recently presented wines that will be taken seriously in years to come. A wine that required far less water to produce. We also see change at the other end of the scale with “Luxury Wines”, an expression that is not much loved by most wine writers. Often backed by celebratory power with millions of Instagram followers - the wines are not relying on the traditional wine writer endorsement and points system of credibility. These are products that are liquor luxury goods and compete with other luxury items. Some of these luxury wines interestingly are not following the traditional wine “rules”. I call them ‘BOLIP’ because they are bought like perfume. The challenge is, how do we market and how do we tell people what we’re doing. Australia wine media seem to be more potent than in other parts of the world. I do believe that Australia is one of the most sophisticated wine countries in the world, but even in Australia, there is a shift. We’ve always trusted our friends and family the most, in truth, the only difference now is that our friends and family are people we don’t know. It could be 30,000 people on Vivino or Amazon. When I go into a restaurant today, I see a sign saying: please rate us on trip advisor. The staff are incentivised to get the ratings because of

the significant difference it plays in the success of the venue. It, therefore, has become more important than getting the restaurant critic to visit and review. DT: In this changing environment, are you seeing a blurring of the lines in categories? RJ: Well, if I look at the price I’m now being asked to pay for craft beer, or the interest in gin and products like Kombucha coming up then I’d say yes. Mead distilleries are opening every few days in the states and products made one way in one country can be adapted in markets with differing laws - especially with cannabis. There is a cross over in the way that beverages are made, consumed and marketed. The adage “share of throat” can be adapted to the occasion and share of the moment, or “Share of Buzz”. Where is that going to come from? Beverages is just one of the products in the competitive mix. Brands behave differently, too. Penfold’s have just launched their Champagne, and in two years, they will have their Napa Cabernet. Now that’s a weird concept to some, but nobody seems to mind Mont Blanc, a pen company, making perfume or Porsche electric drills and trainers. I think it’s key to understand who is going to own the retail process? Virtual reality, for example, is huge in the gaming industry. The ability to tour of the Seppeltsfield Winery or the Henschke Hill of Grace vineyard is all possible in the VR world; it’s more a question of will you be doing it at home, where you can reach out and touch the virtual bottles and move it into the basket, or in store where you can actually sample the wine? Robert Joseph will be presenting his workshops to the Liquor Barons Conference on July 15-19

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For this year’s Cabernet Tasting we tasted through the straight Cabernets and then the blends by state. The panel worked in pairs and collated their stand-out wines before re-tasting and coming to a consensus. All wines were tasted blind. Judges were given regional, vintage and varietal information only. Wines were ordered by RRP, but specifics of the actual price were not disclosed.


Cabernet Sauvignon was created as a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc sometime in the 17th century and is a key component of the some of the world’s most famous blends such as Bordeaux and Super Tuscan wines. Australian’s have embraced the noble grape with our very own ubiquitous Australian Cabernet-Shiraz.



GLOBAL WINE AMBASSADOR AND EDUCATOR Scott McWilliam is a sixth generation family global wine ambassador, wine educator, fully qualified winemaker and international wine judge with over twenty years’ experience in the global wine industry including making wine in both France and the USA.



CELLAR DIRECTOR & WINE EDUCATOR CELLARMASTERS Christine Ricketts is the Cellar Director and Wine Educator at Cellarmaster Wines. She fell in love with wine while working in a small London wine bar back in the late 1980s. After returning to Australia she graduated from South Australia’s prestigious Roseworthy campus and now runs wine education classes and master classes – from basic introductory level right up to the internationally accredited Wine and Spirit Education Trust Levels 1, 2 and 3. After 30 years in wine, she still enjoys the thrill of sharing her knowledge with novices, eager amateurs and wine and hospitality professionals across Australia. 54|drinks trade


WINE SPECIALIST, 100 PROOF After developing cocktail programs in international hotels, Nick Barlow turned to what is now his passion - wine, while working for the Rockpool Group for six years. On finishing his tenure, he applied his hand to building Riedel in the on premise on the East Coast before joining 100 Proof as the state Wine Specialist for NSW.

FINE WINE DIRECTOR, PERNOD RICARD WINEMAKERS After studying marketing and finance, Travis Fuller worked for Southcorp Wines (now Treasury Wine Estates) marketing premium Australian wine to the world. He was invited to the Len Evans Tutorial in 2007 by Len himself after winning the inaugural Greg Doyle Medal for Best Associate Judge at the Royal Sydney Wine Show. Travis is a senior wine show judge across Australia and internationally, and Jury President at Mundus Vini.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON Houghton’s Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Leconfield The Sydney Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Red Deer Station Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

RRP: $130 Region: Franklin River Distributor: Accolade Wines Tasting note: A stand out wine of complexity and generosity. Rich cassis and dark, fleshy fruits up front. Beautifully integrated tannins structure and a savoury and complex palate. The long finish rounds-off the stunning fruit balance and concentration. Score: 97

RRP: $110 Region: Coonawarra Distributor: Leconfield Wines Tasting note: Aromas jump out with ripe, rich cassis and fine French oak. Generous mouthfeel with long silky tannin structure. Good length. Score: 97

RRP: $35 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Australia Swan Vintage Tasting note: Dense and generous fruit driven nose with cedar oak, dark chocolate and cassis. Mouth-filling, full bodied with plenty of layers. This is a complex wine that will age well. Score: 97

d’Arenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Pertaringa Tipsey Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

RRP: $20 Region: McClaren Vale Distributors: Australian Capital Territory Young & Rashleigh Wine Merchants New South Wales - Inglewood Wines Northern Territory - Thomas Chin South Australia - Empire Liquor Merchants Queensland - The Wine Tradition Victoria - The Wine Company Western Australia - Off The Vine Tasting note: A big and brooding wine, jammy and lifted aromas, massive palate with big long tannins. Score: 96

RRP: $295 Region: McLaren Vale Distributor: Wines By Geoff Hardy Tasting note: Ripe fruits with generous nose. Balsamic. Massive; some mealy oak, great length and fine tannin finish. Delightfully balanced wine. Score: 96

RRP: $50 Region: Coonawarra Distributor: Pernod Ricard Winemakers Tasting note: An elegant Cabernet, silky mouthfeel. Menthol and leaf with ground coffee and generous fruit, plums. Delightful mouthfeel, still feels youthful - considering it’s a 2015. Score: 96

Auswan Creek Master Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Taylor’s St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Taylors The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

RRP: $35 Region: McLaren Vale Distributor: Australia Swan Vintage Tasting note: Punching well above its weight, the wine is really balanced and has fine tannins and good length. Some aged notes and cooked fruits. Complex. Score: 95

RRP: $50 Region: Clare Valley Distributor: Taylor’s Wines Tasting note: Hints of cigar box, preserved black cherry and cloves. Shows great purity of fruit and length on the palate. Balanced integrated tannins. Score: 95

RRP: $200 Region: Clare Valley Distributor: Taylor’s Wines Tasting note: Deep purple with blackcurrants and blood plum. A balanced palate with coffee and chocolate and long fine tannins. A generous wine showing a graceful, elegant finish. Score: 94

Angas & Bremer Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Leconfield Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

RRP: $20 Region: Langhorne Creek Distributor: Vinternational Tasting note: Cedar notes and leaf. Black cherries and blackcurrant. Hints of eucalyptus. Youthful mouthfeel and good length. Score: 93

RRP: $35 Region: Coonawarra Distributor: Leconfield Wines Tasting note: Ripe cassis and blackberry. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel with good lifted fruit and integrated tannins. Bright and ‘fresh’ finish. Score: 92

RRP: $85 Region: Margaret River Distributor: Deja Vu Wine Company Tasting note: Vibrant sweet black and red berry fruit. Cedar and chocolate add complexity and texture with great length and balance, supported by finegrained tannins. Score: 92

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Devil’s Lair Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Overexposed Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Harewood Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

RRP: $50 Region: Margaret River Distributor: Treasury Wine Estates Tasting note: Fragrant nose of mint and chocolate. Dark cassis and blackcurrant supported by a sweet fleshy palate. Fine integrated tannins. Score: 91

RRP: $12 Region: King Valley Distributor: Kollaras Trading Company Tasting note: Bright red fruit, full bodied, blood plum and lifted black berries. Herbal finish with hints of liquorice. Score: 91

RRP: $45 Region: Great Southern Distributor: Single Vineyard Sellers Tasting note: Dense inky red, complex spicy nose of plum and hints of chocolate; rich, generous, berries. Lashings of ripe, dark fruits on the palate, liquorice and well integrated oak. Score: 90

CABERNET BLENDS Penley Estate Pheonix Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Deakin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Cape Mentelle Trinders Cabernet Merlot 2017

RRP: $30 Region: Coonawarra Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Tasting note: A cracking value wine, aromas of cedar and youthful hints of spice. Medium length of palate displaying black fruits working with beautifully integrated, fine tannins. Score: 90

RRP: $10 Region: Victoria Distributor: Red + White (Australia wide) Tasting note: Polished and delicate nose, Juicy and luscious fruit, satsuma, plum and black berries. Score: 88

RRP: $25 Region: Margaret River Distributor: MoĂŤt Hennessy Tasting note: Classic cabernet aroma. Dense and complex palate with hints of mint and cassis, clever use of oak and balanced acidity. Elegant finish. Score: 96

St Hugo Cabernet Shiraz 2015

Fraser Gallop Estate Cabernet Merlot 2016

Zema Estate Cluny Cabernet Merlot 2015

RRP: $25 Region: Margaret River Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Tasting note: Dense dark red fruit, red currants and mulberries. Medium weighted body and a lively palate. Elegant, fine and long finish. Score: 94

RRP: $20 Region: Coonawarra Distributor: Westward Wine Agencies Tasting note: Sweet and generous dark fruits, toasty oak with blood plum with subtle vanilla hints. Moreish and balanced. Score: 93

Geoff Hardy GMH Meritage 2017

Leconfield Cabernet Merlot 2017

RRP: $25 Region: South Australia Distributor: Wines By Geoff Hardy Tasting note: A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot - rich aromas of plum and dark berries followed by a generous palate showing satsuma plum and integrated tannins. Dark chocolate comes through with mint. Delicious. Score: 92

RRP: $26 Region: Coonawarra Distributor: Leconfield Wines Tasting note: Rich chocolate-mint nose and integrated subtle oak. Palate of cassis and plum; medium bodied, fine and rounded. Brooding tannins. Score: 92

Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Quartage Cabernet / Cab Franc / Verdot / Merlot 2016

RRP: $45 Region: Coonawarra Barossa Distributor: Pernod Ricard Winemakers Tasting note: Bold and lifted aromatics. Crushed ant and dark, brooding, berry fruits, superb tannins and balance. Score: 95

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RRP: $28 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Mezzanine Wines Tasting note: Burnt confectionary; rich and juicy - grippy palate. Delivers a true varietal expression with a fine, integrated finish. Score: 92


STRANGE BREW The world has given us some weird and wonderful drinks. Here are a few to get your tastebuds around or running for the door…

1. BABY MOUSE WINE You read that right. The Chinese and Koreans take about 10 to 15 mice no more than three days old, drown them in a bottle of rice wine then leave them to ferment for one to two years. The wine is considered a health elixir meant to cure everything from liver disease to asthma. The traditional way of taking this tonic is first drink the wine and then eat the mice. We dare you.

2. SNAKE WINE Found in China and Vietnam, this drink takes a venomous snake and drowns it in rice or grain alcohol, either wine or whisky. It is said the alcohol cancels out the dangerously active compounds in the venom. The result is a concoction that improves virility and prevents hair loss. The thought of it is enough to put hairs on your chest.

3.“TEZHI SANBIAN JIU” Translated into English this literally means three penis wine. In China, this drink is imbibed to boost male potency and virility. It takes the sex organs of a deer, a seal and a dog and ferments them in rice wine base. We think it

would make a great Valentine’s Day gift. Far more interesting than a dozen oysters and a bottle of champagne don’t you think?

4. THE VAPORTINI The world’s going vape mad. Instead of drinking your favourite whisky, you can now officially inhale it, like an e-cigarette. First you need the Vaportini. It’s a glass sphere with a hole in it for a straw that hovers over a glass votive candle. Your spirit of choice is poured into the glass sphere and the vapors off the warmed alcohol are inhaled through a straw. The method is inspired by an old Finnish practice of pouring vodka over the hot coals in a sauna and enjoying the aromas and subsequent effects. Vaportini users vow there’s no hangover the next morning. Breathe it in.

5.SPIRYTUS REKTYFIKOWANY This grain spirit from Poland is 95 per cent proof and should be treated with the utmost respect and approached with caution. In basic terms it is pure ethyl-alcohol and probably should be used to clean floors with. It is highly recommended that you do not consume it neat. It’s good for making your own home made gin though. Buy a bottle, create a brand and go for gold.

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50 YEARS ON & STILL PRODUCING SOME O F A U S T R A L I A’ S FAVO U R I T E R E D S * Since its first release in 1973, the Taylors Estate range has continued to win globally for its quality and taste. The Taylors Estate reds have been awarded a total of 23 Trophies and 285 Gold medals from around the world. Consumers look to awards from respected wine competitions to guide their wine selection. So make sure you stock some of Australia’s favourite and most awarded premium red wines to heat up your sales this winter.

To find out more speak to your Taylors Wines representative or call 1300 655 691. *iRi scanned sales data, total AU MAT 31/3/19, rank Taylors Cabernet the # 1 Cabernet Sauvignon by value, Taylors Merlot the #1 Merlot by value, Taylors Shiraz #3 Premium Shiraz by value.



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Drinks Trade - May-June 2019  

Drinks Trade - May-June 2019  

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